There are only two possible outcomes for U.S. visa applications. The consular officer will either issue or refuse the visa. If a visa applicant has not established that he or she is eligible for a visa, the consular officer must refuse that application. However, some refused visa applications may require further administrative processing. When administrative processing is required, the consular officer will inform the applicant at the end of the interview. The duration of the administrative processing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case. At the conclusion of the administrative processing period, the consular officer might conclude that an applicant is now qualified for the visa for which he or she applied. The officer may also conclude that the applicant remains ineligible for a visa. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visas, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Except in cases of emergency travel (i.e. serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family), before making inquiries about status of administrative processing, applicants should wait at least 180 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.
Information about nonimmigrant visa wait times for interviews and visa processing time frames are shown on this website, as well as on U.S. Embassy and Consulate websites worldwide. It should be noted that the “Wait Times for a Nonimmigrant Visa to be Processed” information by country does not include time required for administrative processing. Processing wait time also does not include the time required to return the passport to applicants, by either courier services or the local mail system.