Can I travel to the US during Administrative Processing? (CBP, DOS)

If your visa application is held by a consulate office for administrative processing, your case could be delayed for up to 60 days. Typically, the US consulate reviewing an application in administrative processing will not reveal the estimated period of delay nor will a consular officer reveal the reasons for the delay. For those with plans to travel to the United States, administrative processing could delay travel for several months. Thankfully, the Department of State (DOS) offered information late last year that benefits those with visa applications in administrative processing.

Valid Existing Visa

According to the DOS, an existing visa will not be cancelled while a new application is pending administrative processing in a US consulate. However, the consulate will cancel previously approved, valid visas if “derogatory information” emerges during review.  Therefore, if someone plans to enter the US while their new visa application is held for administrative processing, the traveler can apply for admission into the US only if they possess a valid nonimmigrant visa. If a traveler utilizes a previously issued visa, then they must comply with the terms of that visa. For example, if an individual enters the US with a valid B-1/B-2 visa, they should not enter the country with the intention to work.

CBP Maintains Authority

Although a previously issued visa may be valid during a pending administrative processing hold, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) maintains the authority to determine admissibility. Thus, an application for entry could be denied by CBP, regardless if the previously issued visa is valid. If you require assistance with your future travel plans, feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation.