*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

Passport Returned — Is Your Visa in Trouble?

 

Today, we’re going to talk about what it means when the consulate gives you your passport back at the time of your interview. Is that a good sign? Is it a bad sign? What does it mean?

That’s the question I was just asked: “At the time of my husband’s interview, after he was done, they had given him back his passport. Now, is that a good sign or a bad sign? Because I talked to some people and they said the consulate took their passport.”

 

How I help people

In case you don’t know me, my name is Josh Goldstein. I’m an immigration lawyer based in Los Angeles, California. I help people across the country and around the world with work permits, green cards, and citizenships. I especially help people who have delayed immigration cases.

Right now, a big source of the delays are consulates. You go to the consulate. You’re seeking a visa. And instead of giving you the visa, they make you wait and tell you that you’re in administrative processing. That’s the issue that I’m able to resolve by filing a mandamus lawsuit.

Yes, we’re getting visas approved even during the pandemic. It doesn’t matter whether consulates are open or not. We can still sue them. That’s what I do.

 

What does it mean when they give you your passport back?

So what does it mean when they give you your passport back? Is it a bad thing? Is it a good thing? What does it mean? Well, it’s obviously not a great sign if they give you your passport back. But I really don’t think it matters that much. Let me explain what I mean.

I have plenty of cases where the consulates take people’s passports after the interview and then they make them wait for years and they put them in administrative processing. And they’re still delayed.

And they don’t have their passports so they can’t even leave their home country. And I have other cases where the passport is given back after the interview and then, later, the consulate requests the passport to issue the visa. To answer your question, it’s not a great sign. But I don’t really attach much importance to whether they take the passport or not.

 

The question that really matters

The only issue is this: do you have your visa or not? If you have your visa, you’re all set. If you don’t have your visa, then you’re still waiting. So I don’t really see the importance of whether they gave your passport back to you or not. I think it’s not something that I would get too hung up about. That’s my take on it. I hope this is helpful.

If you have any questions or need help, reach out to me. I’ll be happy to chat with you or point you in the right direction. Keep fighting for your visa.