My Visa Was Denied After Being Delayed in Administrative Processing—What Should I Do Now?

The visa application process can be slow. Many applicants run into frustrating and prolonged delays. Administrative processing has sometimes been referred to as a “black hole” for visa applicants. Essentially, the term “administrative processing” is government-speak for a temporary refusal pending a further investigation of the application.

In this context, a refusal is not the same thing as a denial. Unfortunately, your visa application could eventually be denied even after a lengthy period of administrative processing. Here, our Los Angeles immigration attorney explains your options if your visa was denied after being stuck in administrative processing.

Step #1: Make Sure You Understand the True Status of Your Application

As a starting point, it is important to re-emphasize the difference between a refusal and a denial in immigration law. As noted above, the term refusal is extremely confusing and it does not mean the same thing as having your application denied. A refusal is indefinite but temporarily holds a visa application for further investigation.

What exactly is being investigated is not always so clear to the individual. Still, it is not a denial. As an immigration attorney, I frequently help clients get their visa out of administrative processing. On the other hand, if your visa application was in fact denied, then a different approach is needed.

Step #2: The Post-Denial Process is So Slow—It is Usually Best to Start Over

Once you confirm that your visa application has been denied and not simply being delayed, the best practice is often to start over and file a brand new petition. Unfortunately, this is probably not what you wanted to hear.

However, the post-denial process is so slow that your application was simply ground to a halt after a denial—even though you may receive some official correspondence indicating that your petition was referred to another U.S. agency.

Instead of waiting around for additional information—which can take several years—it is generally a better strategy to figure out what the government thought was wrong with your initial petition and to start fresh. It is never fun to start over, but it can actually be a lot faster than the alternative.

Step #3: Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer

If your visa application was denied, you may still have options available to find an immigration solution. During a confidential consultation, an experienced attorney will be able to review all of the correspondence you have received from immigration authorities and develop a plan of action to chart the best path forward. Do not give up.

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we believe that it is about you and your rights. If your visa was denied after being stuck in administrative processing, our immigration lawyer is more than ready to get started. Call us now for a completely private immigration strategy session. From our legal office in Los Angeles, we provide reliable, solutions-focused legal advocacy to clients throughout all of Southern California.