Updated on 22.10.2018

Administrative Processing

We frequently receive inquiries about administrative processing for US visa applications. The reasons for this additional check are explained below.

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Visum USA

Examination of a US visa application

Generally, every visa application must be examined by a consular officer in a personal visa interview at the US consulate / US embassy. As a rule, all visa applicants between 14 and 79 years of age must appear in person at one of the relevant US consulates / US embassies (exception: Visa Reissuance Program).

In most cases, a decision on the application is made directly on site: The consular officers examine the visa application for the USA on the basis of the regular application documents and, if necessary, other supporting documents and records and make a decision on this basis. The US visa is either approved verbally or not granted.

What is meant by administrative processing?

If the officers at the US consulate or US embassy decide not to approve the visa immediately, a visa refusal is issued for the time being in accordance with Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The consequence of this is the so-called Administrative Processing - the visa application therefore requires a further security check.

Causes and options for action for administrative processing


The decision of the US officer can be made for the following reasons:

  • information / details from the application form DS-160 require verification
  • a comparison with a database of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals a match
  • the applicant is employed in a "critical" field of activity / occupation (see Technology Alert List (TAL) in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) of the U.S. Department of State)

In addition, the delays in visa processing can be explained, among other things, by stricter security precautions and mechanisms to prevent fraud.

Options for action

First of all, all you can do is wait and hope that your visa application for the USA will be processed as quickly as possible.

If your US visa application has already been in Administrative Processing for some time, you can ask the US consulate about the current status. However, you should not contact the US authorities until at least 60 days after the visa interview or 60 days after submitting further application documents - depending on which event occurred later.


Updated on 22.10.2018