Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that if visa applications are incomplete or if there is enough reason to suspect ineligibility of the applicant, they may reject the petition completely without giving the petitioner a second chance to produce the required evidence. This comes at a time when the backlogs for various visas like work related H1- B visas or petitions for Permanent Residence Green Cards are bursting at the seams in the US immigration system.
This rejection however, is at the discretion of the immigration officer adjudicating the particular case. Should the case move forward in spite of missing documentation, the immigration office will issue a 221(g) explaining the missing requirements and the next steps in the process.
What is 221(g)?
221(g) is a temporary refusal of an immigrant visa issued when the petition is going to be reconsidered and reviewed seeking more evidence. This evidence could be to establish eligibility or requiring further administrative processing. These come in different colors indicating different purposes.
What do the different colors of 221(g) indicate?
- 221(g) Blue Form: A blue form implies that the US Visa Consulate needs an additional supporting document(s) to make a decision on a visa application.
- 221(g) White Form: A white form indicates a complex category under 221(g). This slip denotes the need for further processing wherein it is handed over to the USCIS and the decision is finally made based on the information gained.
- 221(g) Pink Form: A pink form is issued when the visa officer is suspicious of the information provided within the petition. This could be related to work, qualification or purpose of visit. Cases like these require additional administrative processing. If you receive a pink form, the visa officer will provide you with a reference ID where you can track the status of the application online.
- 221(g) Yellow Form: A yellow form is issued when the visa consulate needs more time to review your documentation provided by the applicant. Depending upon how extensive this is, the time to revert can fluctuate. These type of cases require general administrative processing to substantiate the document(s).
What to do when you receive a 221(g) Slip?
The issuance of 221(g) doesn’t necessarily mean that the visa application is rejected or that the chances of finally getting the visa is diminished. In most cases, the US consulate is seeking more time to evaluate the application and may need additional documentation to reach a decision.
- Acknowledge the form color. Each color denotes a different reason.
- The reason for the temporary revocation will be indicated in the form issued.
- Gather the required documentation and procure additional evidence as specified in the 221(g) form.
- The additional documents can be submitted either electronically or at the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) drop box. Follow the instructions provided in 221(g) slip.
- Once you have submitted the additional document(s) required by the consulate, you can track the status of your application online using the reference ID provided by the visa consulate.
- The processing time for 221(g) varies from case to case. Most of the cases are completed within 60 days or less.
- Sit back and wait to be notified by the USCIS about your next appointment.
- Attend your new appointment and be sure to bring all supporting documents along with you as well as your 221(g) form.
If you have been issued a 221(g) form and have questions or need legal advice, consult an experienced immigration lawyer to see where your case stands. Connect with an immigration lawyer and get your doubts cleared with a quick phone call.