US Dept of State Announces More Efficient Visa Processing

US Dept of State Announces More Efficient Visa Processing

The US Dept of State, the agency that is tasked with the review of US visa applications at US consular posts across the globe announced that it has “recently adopted new technology and enhance coordination”  to decrease the total visa application processing time.


One risk when applying for a US visa is that the adjudication of the application could be put on hold for “adiminstrative processing” so US agencies can conduct additional security checks. Sometimes, while a consular may believe the application is approval a hit from another agency may occur resulting that the application be put on hold under section 221(g) of the Immigration & Nationality Act. Most cases will be resolved within 60 days but some cases will linger for years, effectively blocking the visa applicant from entering the US. Due to national security rules it is unlikely to expedite the review and, as an immigration lawyer, it can be very frustrating to know there is nothing that can be done in some cases.

The National Vetting Center was created as “a collaborative, interagency effort to provide a clearer picture of threats to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety posed by individuals seeking to transit our borders or exploit our immigration system”. Much like the rest of the world, the US government is using technology to speed up processing times and automate processes that have historically required manual work.

Only time will tell whether this will increase the speed at which visa applications are reviewed and adjudicated. It only puts a fine point that while the visa application is made before a human consular officer at a US consular post, there is a web of databases that can and will stop the adjudication of some applications.

This post is for informational purposes and is not legal advice. If you require specific advice, please email us at info@flynnhodkinson.