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What is a 221(g) in the EB-5 process?

I am a US citizen and I applied for my mother’s I-485 which was approved. She was given her visa and passport but, the next day, the US embassy called her and told her to give her passport back for further administrative processes. It has been a year since then and there has been no change in her status. What steps should I take now? I have already contacted the state Senator’s office and they told us that they are doing “a 221(g).” What does this mean?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The hiring of an experienced immigration attorney should be able to advise you and pursue processes to definitely obtain an answer.

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    Shahzad Ahmed

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is unclear why your mother would have a visa interview at the consulate since the I-485 is to adjust status within the U.S. Also, it is unclear why this would be an EB-5 case since it appears from your question that you are a U.S. citizen and filed for your mother as a relative. At any rate, the 221(g) is a refusal of the visa which may be used to conduct “administrative processing.” It is not a denial. In most cases, the embassy will not explain the exact reason for the delay, but it may be to review the file, conduct background checks, or something else until a final decision is made. If there is no resolution is 60 days, then consider hiring an experienced immigration attorney to assist your mother.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Some type of background check. You and/or the Senator's office should follow up about every 30 days.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A 221(g) basically means her visa application is under review by the immigration unit at the consulate where the applicant has been interviewed. It is not unusual that such a review may be more than the required 60 days which the r221(g) review is supposed to take. In addition, if you have not heard from the Consulate, it does not mean that an application under 221(g) review has been denied but simply means the reviewing process is still ongoing. Also note that your situation is not unique, 221(g) review regularly occurs to both non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is a catchall provision essentially saying that no visa shall be issued if the person appears to be ineligible, has failed to comply with some requirement of the Immigration and Nationality Act or the Consul has reason to believe that the applicant is ineligible to receive a visa. When it is said that a case is in administrative processing, it means there is some issue that is being investigated. From the information you have given, it is impossible to know what the problem is, but you should continue to follow up with the Consular Post. From the Senator's office, your reference to Section 221(g) of the INA simply means that some further determination is being made with respect to eligibility.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    221g is a Visa Denial by the Embassy/Consulate, and they will send the Immigrant petition back to USCIS for additional review and possible revocation of that approved petition, which in your case would have been I-130. She would not have done I-485, as she was outside of U.S., but did the immigrant visa application (DS-260). Embassies and consulates all over the world have been doing this on various immigration categories to delay or stop the immigration process under this administration. Once the case is transferred back to USCIS, there is no set timeline of how long they will take; there is no normal processing time and no way to know if they will ever look at it. The answer USCIS provides is that the case is under an extended review with no explanation on what caused the review in the first place and no timeline for that review. Embassies and consulates are supposed to also provide detail explanation and evidence as to why they thought it was necessary to send the case back for review. However, all the posts are just checking off the 221g box with no evidence findings contrary to the long-standing adjudicatory policies.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, more information/clarification is needed before a helpful answer can be provided. Not sure why a consulate is involved if your mother adjusted status in the U.S. (I-485 processing) and, if I-485 was approved, why is she applying for a "visa" at the U.S. Consulate, and where doe the EB-5 processing come in here if you are a U.S. citizen? Did your mother apply as the Immigrant Investor? Typically, a 221(g) denial is issued if/when the Consulate needs additional review, documents or information to complete the visa application.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    221(g) is the section of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act that prevents a consular officer from approving a visa application if there are missing documents or if the consular officer believes the applicant might be ineligible/inadmissible. It is also used when background/security checks and clearances are pending. That is usually what is going on when nonimmigrant or immigrant visa applications are subject to administrative processing. There is not much to do but wait, and to keep contacting them to see if the processing has been completed. The senator's office should follow up through the normal channels available for this purpose.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When one goes to a green card interview, there are only two things that can happen. Approval or denial. Denial comes in several sizes. A soft denial is a Section 221(g) denial. A hard denial is a Section 212(a) denial, usually for inadmissibility. So, there is an issue in your case. Some lawyers specialize in this area and, based on the case, we can often tell if it is a security issue, background check or other problem. With extreme vetting, get ready for many more section 221(g) denials and cases stuck in the system for years.

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