Manila U.S. Embassy and the Era of 221(g)

If you are a nurse currently living in the Philippines with an upcoming embassy interview, then you might be affected by the 221(g) notification from the U.S. Embassy in Manila. In the past six weeks only applicants attending their embassy interviews in Manila have been issued 221(g) administrative processing notifications.

Exactly What Does a 221(g) Mean?

Where there is lack of complete documentation, the consular officer is required to refuse the visa under INA 221(g) (lack of documents). It has been more frequent that Manila is issuing 221(g) refusals without any requests for additional documentation. Rather, the 221(g) notice merely indicates that the application requires additional administrative processing before a final decision can be reached. Issuing the 221(g) allows the consular officer additional time to review the application due to the lack of time to review the application during an interview.

A 221(g) Is Not a Denial!

Rather than deny a visa, a consular office may return the petition to the Department of Homeland Security to request reconsideration or revocation. However, if USCIS reaffirms its approval and the consul has no additional facts to submit to support its position, then the visa must be approved. 9 FAMe 504.2-8(C)(1). Once the additional processing is complete, the post then reaches out to the applicant with instructions on obtaining the visa.

The End Result

The current actions of the U.S. Embassy in Manila are the result of a recent U.S. lawsuit in which 200 Filipino nurses filed, and won, a human trafficking lawsuit against a U.S. nursing home operator in New York. The consensus among U.S. immigration attorneys is that the U.S. Embassy is misapplying the findings of that lawsuit in now arbitrarily issuing 221(g) notices. Although administrative processing delays your plans to come to the U.S., visas are still being issued at the end of the process, because the employment contracts are valid, enforceable and not taking advantage of individuals.

WorldWide HealthStaff Solutions is working diligently with a team of attorneys to educate the U.S. Embassy and to bring an end to these unnecessary refusals. Until we have come to a solution, we advise you to reschedule your embassy interview out about 60-90 days. If you have yet to be scheduled for an interview, do not worry. If you are a nurse applicant working with us, please stay in touch with your Case Manager, and notate any information you are given directly before, during, or after your interview.

If you are a nurse that is not currently working with us, but interested in applying with WorldWide HealthStaff Solutions, please click here to apply.