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Jen Marie, Esq.
Jen Marie, Esq., Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 4852
Experience:  She has worked on all types of U.S. Immigration cases since 2007.
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I applied F1 visa to go to the US and begin a PhD program in

Customer Question

Hi, I applied for a F1 visa to go to the US and begin a PhD program in Cellular and Molecular Biology this Fall. Since I was in the US earlier as well, I qualified for visa interview waiver and went in to the Mumbai Vfc for my fingerprinting and biometrics
at end of July. Thereafter, I went back to my home town and received my passport back after 4 days with a 221g form asking me to submit a new passport (older passport had minor water damage). Unfortunately, my new passport application couldn't be expedited
and it took me a full month to receive it. I flew back to Mumbai again with my old and new passports last week and clearly asked whether anything else would be needed. I was assured me that the passport was the only issue and processing would take only 4-5
days. Classes for my program had begun on 10th. Again, on 16th, I received both passports back with a new letter stating the pending status of my passport under 221g and requesting submission of a whole new set of documents and information via email, saying
it would be min 2 weeks for processing. My worry is that amidst all this time consuming process, I might end up being too late and the PhD can slip out of my hands. What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will be the immigration attorney helping you today. I'm so sorry that this is happening to you.

I hope you can understand that I don't make the US laws and I cannot change them. I can only explain the law as it stands. to you.

At this point the best thing you can do is send them everything that they want as soon as possible via email. There is n official way to expedite this. But If you can send everything today, there is a good chance that it will take much less than 2 weeks for processing. Right now they just worked on your case, so it's best to send everything immediately while it's still fresh on one of the consular's officer's minds.

If it is delayed more than a week, I suggest you go back to the consulate and ask to see a supervising officer.

I would recommend that you also contact the school immediately and let them know what is going on with your visa. If you notify them, they may be willing to work with you throughout the delay.

Good luck to you during this process and I hope this answer has helped you!

If you are not satisfied with my answer or if I did not understand your question correctly, please ask me for clarification and I will be glad to clarify. Your satisfaction is my goal.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thanks for your response, Jennifer. However, I am already aware of the things you are telling me. I am looking to understand approximately how much time (minimum-maximum) it might take and what exactly constitutes administrative processing? Is my data being sent to Washington D.C. for some security clearance/background check or some such thing? Also, what could possibly be the purpose of this additional admin processing? Is it because of my prior stay history in the US (from Aug 2007-2011 as a F1 student first and then under OPT). I had an approved EAD for my 17-month extention that I didn't pursue and I then had an approved R1 petition for my church as well, after which I came back home and went to the UK for a Masters in the same field. I have a bit of work experience in my field of study and no publications. I am also wondering if my major has anything to do with the technology alert list as well? A deeper insight into what is going on behind the scenes would be highly appreciated. I have contacted the VFS Call Center on numerous occassions with the same rote answers to my questions. Going to the consulate in person also didnt help much, cause there is a bit of misinformation going around, which is super frustrating for me. I have spent a year just in the process of getting accepted into a competitive fully-funded PhD program and now this just feels wrong.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, I have spoken to the school admin people who are being utterly supportive so far and have promised to cooperate with me as much as they can. However, what do you suggest I tell them besides the obvious, that might help me retain my PhD position in the school?
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I do apologize for giving you information you already know but I hope you can understand that everyone that comes to the website has different levels of knowledge and I cannot assume what you know or don't know. I do completely understand your frustration after all your hard work at getting accepting into the PhD program and then being faced with this.

The good news is that Your data is NOT being sent to Washington DC in a case like this. You are not in "administrative processing." There are two types of cases that come up under INA 221(g).

1. This is the administrative processing where the case is sent to DC for additional approval or possible clearance due to an issue.

2. This remains within the consular office and is given due to missing documentation, information or if there is more time that is required for various reasons.

As it states in the letter that they gave you, you are just missing some information that they need in order to finish processing your visa. If you already had submitted all of it, it may be that they have misplaced it or they want up to date documents to make sure for example, that your invitation is still valid. This happens sometimes when a long time elapses between the first time you and when you return to the consulate. In your case, the additional processing time is usually a lot faster than when there is administrative processing. The minimum time I have seen this completed in has been about a week and maximum around 30 days. Of course this can vary by consulate and time of year.

All you can tell the school is the truth. You have not done anything wrong. You can notify them that you are not in administrative processing and therefore, it should not take too long to be admitted in.

I hope this helps to clarify your question now and that I have earned your positive rating. Best of luck to you!