What is 221g for H1B Visa Stamping ? How long is Processing Time ?

Anyone planning to go to US on H1B visa or any other visa need to go through visa stamping at a US consulate in their home country. As part of the process, sometimes the applicants of visa are given slips of various colors and put the case under 221g. Below are more details on the same.

What is 221g for  H1B Visa stamping ? 

Usually, US Consulate officer determines your H1B visa eligibility by looking at your documents, in-person interview. If they are not satisfied with any of the documents or need more information from you or need to do any background checks on your petition, they will issue 221g slip to you at the time of H1B stamping. This is also issued to other visa types too.  221g slip is given in the form of a document/ sheet of paper with various colors like Blue, Green, Yellow, White, Pink, etc.  Depending on the color, the requirements on your case may vary. Some of them take more time to process, some of them could be very minor checks.

What is 221g usually given for in H1B Visa ?

221g is given for a variety of reasons like below

  • background checks, if you have a common muslim name or matches with something in their list
  • employment verification
  • extra security clearance if your job is certain type of field like defense or medical
  • if  PIMS verification is required
  • there are some discrepancies in the name
  • sometimes the consular want to check on the client letter and validate if your job exists.
  • company profile is bad and they want to validate the authenticity.
  • many such reasons…

What is the 221g Processing Time ? Can I do Premium Processing ?

There is no SLA tied to 221g processing, it can take anywhere from few days to few months. It only depends on the case and the information that US Visa consular office is looking for in your case. You cannot really do anything called premium processing in case of 221g, you just need to wait.  This is the most painful part of 221g as it is like a black box and many people can get really frustrated with the wait.

What are you supposed to do after 221g ? What usually happens ?

Usually, you just need to wait for the US consulate to give you some direction on the case. If they have asked you to submit documents, you will need to submit those documents using dropbox at VFS center…if they said to just wait, you will need to wait. Sometimes passports are collected, sometimes they are given back… Anyways, if you do not hear back in about 60 days or so, then you can contact consulate via email or call.  If they are happy with the response you sent for their questions, you may be given visa or asked to appear for the visa interview again in person…if not, sometimes you will be given a rejection or notice with intention to deny ( NOID)…which can be seeked further as needed by working with your attorney.

What was your experience with 221g ?