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Change in Method of 221 (G) Follow-up Appointment Scheduling

  • July 4, 2022
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When a person applies for a U.S. visa (non-immigrant or immigrant), the general rule is that the visa will either be issued, denied or subject to a request for additional information. There are several reasons for a visa denial. Two of the most common denials are (1) Under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and (2) INA 221(g) sometimes referred to as “soft” denials. Usually, INA 221(g) denials are issued if additional documentation or information is required from the visa applicant or if further administrative processing is required before a visa can be issued.


Prior to COVID, for cases that involved attending an additional interview, the consular posts in India issued a letter pursuant to INA 221(g) requiring the applicant to appear for a personal interview during a specified time on any day of the week between Monday and Friday.

During COVID

Covid changed many processes, including how appointments were handled. During COVID, applicants requiring a follow-up interview had to login to the CGI portal website ( and schedule a follow-up interview. Interview dates were not always available and some cases requiring assistance of the support staff at the visa application center were kept on hold for several months due to lack of proper resolution and availability of appointments.

Current Situation, Post Covid

Recently, U.S. consular posts in India have discontinued the option for visa applicants requiring an INA 221(g) follow-up interview to schedule an appointment using the CGI Federal portal.

The U.S. consular post, at their discretion and depending on the type of visa being applied for, are permitting two types of follow-up interviews for INA 221(g) cases. They are:

Option 1: The U.S. consulate will advise the applicant to appear for the follow-up interview on any business day during the week during a specific time range.

Option 2: In some cases, the U.S. consular post will clearly indicate the time slot and a specific date on which the applicant must appear for the interview.

For drop-box cases, the U.S. consulate will usually inform the visa applicant on the mode of INA 221(g) follow-up interview by email communication. If the passport is being returned along with the INA 221(g) request, then the letter accompanying the passport will likely provide instructions for the visa applicant.

This is a welcome change and a relief for U.S. visa applicants who are required to attend a follow-up interview. There is greater clarity and more availability of interview slots generally. We hope that this continues as the world continues to open up as travel and tourism return to pre-Covid levels.