What is section 221(g)?
Section 221(g), of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), is a temporary hold or refusal on a visa application. In order to receive a visa and enter the United States, an immigrant must attend a visa interview. If a visa application needs further work or review, the application will be suspended under section 221(g). When this happens, the visa petition has been approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but the consulate is not convinced that the immigrant is qualified to receive a visa on the day of the interview.
Is my visa petition rejected?
No. By placing a visa application on hold through section 221(g) the consulate takes the time to obtain and review additional documents and information to make sure that everything is valid before a visa is issued to the immigrant. Section 221(g) enables the consulate to suspend the petition instead of rejecting it.
How do I know that my petition is suspended?
When an immigrant’s visa petition is suspended, they will be handed a colored slip at the end of the interview process. The paper explains that the application is on hold under section 221(g). There is no set timeline for how long it will take for the consulate to reach a decision. It can take weeks, months, or more than a year.
The standard message on a suspension slip is: “Your application for a non-immigrant visa has not been refused. At present, your application must be suspended under section 221g of the immigration and nationality Act, as amended (INA), for further review at the Department of State or by another agency. Embassy xx will resume action on your application after we are informed that this review is completed. Please be advised, however, we do not control the pace or scope of this review. When the process is complete, we will contact you with further instructions or to advise you that your visa is ready for pick-up.”
Why does the consulate question my visa petition?
There are many reasons why a visa application may be denied. In some instances, the application is denied because necessary information or supporting documents were not submitted by the applicant. In other instances, the application is denied for more serious reasons. An applicant’s current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities, as examples, may make the applicant ineligible for a visa. If denied a visa, the applicant is given a reason based on the section of law which applies. Visa applicants are also advised by the consular officer if they may apply for a waiver of their ineligibility.
Your Visa was Denied: Now What?
Visa applicants who are denied their visa the first time around shouldn’t despair. There are ways to remedy the situation. In order to assess where you may have gone wrong you need to ask yourself: Was I really prepared for this interview? Did I submit all necessary documents and supporting documents? Did I give my interviewer the wrong impression? Did I have a mock interview with an attorney of good repute and in-depth knowledge of the visa interview process? If the answer to any of these questions are no, then you need to contact the law offices of Keshab Raj Seadie at 212.571.6002 for a consultation today.