Application Refused under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 221(g)

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A refusal under Section 221(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) means that essential information is missing from an application or that an application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer who interviews you will tell you at the end of your interview if your case has been denied under Section 221(g). The officer will either tell you that the case has to undergo administrative processing, or will ask you to submit additional information.  Your visa application will be reconsidered upon receipt of your response or when administrative processing is complete.  Please be advised that for U.S. visa purposes, including ESTA (, a 221(g) decision constitutes a denial of a visa.

Submitting Additional Information

If further information is required, the officer will tell you how to submit that information. As part of this process, you will be given a written letter and will have 12 months from the date of your application to submit the requested documents without having to pay a new visa application fee. After one year, an application refused under Section 221(g) will be terminated.

If the American Institute in Taiwan requested additional information or documentation from you, you may be required to submit those documents via email or to submit original documents at a document delivery office. This web page explains how to submit your documents to the American Institute in Taiwan.

Administrative Processing

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.   

Applicants can help make this process go faster by being prepared for their visa interviews.

Applicants should bring a copy of their resume or curriculum vitae (CV); a list of their publications (if any); a summary of their past and future research; information on their advisor or sponsor in the United States, including an invitation letter detailing the applicant's planned activities or specific study in the US; sponsor's mailing address and telephone number (for example, a copy of his/her webpage); and a list of references.  Applicants who will be attending conferences in the US should also bring information about the conference, including abstracts of any presentation, if applicable.  This information should be in English.  Applicants should also be ready to answer specific questions about their research plans in the United States.

Please note that while it is recommended you bring these documents to the interview, if your case requires administrative processing, you will also be asked to submit the required documents electronically via email.  Instructions will be given at the time of interview.

Applicants who do not bring complete information to the interview (e.g., a resume and research summary) may have their applications delayed even further, or may be refused a visa and asked to apply again.  The more information and documentation an applicant provides during the visa interview, the better the application can be evaluated.  If you are unsure about whether or not to bring a particular document, please bring it with you in case the interviewing officer wishes to review it.

Note: Except in cases of emergency travel (i.e. serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family), before inquiring about your visa status, you or your representative must wait at least 180 days from the date of your interview or the submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later. Please be patient.