As I sit back, sipping a cup of coffee, watching John fly to London, it dawns upon me – “What a roller-coaster ride it has been for last 3 days…”

As I take stock of events that have transpired ever since their VISA application process began(H1B Visa stamping), I come to realize –

May it be India or Uncle Sam or any other nation, administrative procedures can be clumsy at times. And by clumsy – I mean they can represent a gamut of possibilities – red tape ridden, inconsistent, sloppy, shoddy, incomprehensible, non-transparent, slow and at times – downright pathetic.

H1B visa stamping in the passport is needed for a foreign national to enter/re-enter the United States as an H1B worker.  If you currently hold H1B work visa, you may need to get the re-stamping upon the extension of your expired visa. And here’s what happened with their H1B re-stamping for returning to the States.

Clock struck 2pm and we were busy chit-chatting, when John checked for his application status and that triggered the meltdown.

2 words – it just took 2 words for a whirlwind of thoughts (mostly pessimistic) to overwhelm our mind.

Administrative Processing


Google search of these 2 words and I learn’t –

Google is not always right


Google search can mislead

At times your seemingly correct search can in reality turn out to be incomplete and hence misleading.


My google search – US Visa Administrative Processing.

First link itself directs to – 221G – the dreaded code for every US Visa applicant.

Simply put –

“221G = VISA Reject” termed as “Application Pending Further Action.”

Applicant is told that a final decision regarding VISA cannot be made. Here, consular office invokes Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act – aka “Processing time-out.”

To make things cheesy – they have 4 kinds of slips – Pink, Blue, White, Yellow; meaning of each of them is as hazy as Mumbai University examination criterion. Moreover, consulate of Chennai may use Pink slip to signify Administrative processing while Mumbai consulate can use it for “Additional Document Required.”

Categories / Types

Detailed info about 4 types / categories
1. Administrative Processing
2. Further Consulate Review
3. Missing information or documentation:
4. Employee Employer Relationship(EVC/EC Model)

Delving deeper into similar searches led us to –
Similar Unresolved issues

Ultimately, after numerous web-sites, pages, thought-showering and finding, we got our –  “Calm your tits momentcalm-your-tits-no

That Administrative Processing isn’t the one we feared it to be.

It aint what you dont know that gets you into trouble,

its what you know for sure that just aint so.

For most part of our search, we were sure AP meant Visa Reject..and then we saw the light at the end of the tunnel – AP is Administrative procedure when it comes to Dropbox facility and one can be patient and await Visa Issue in 2 days.

There were few who said

Administrative Processing is nothing but 221g

While few others who said

It’s a part of their procedure

Finally I deduced – Routine Cycle
1. Case Opened/ Created
2. Ready
3. Admin Processing / Under review
4. Issued

Few other sources go on to call 221g as a Beast –

  1. Beast called 221G
  2. Administrative Processing 221G
  3. H1B Wiki – 221G

From the agony of the impending rejection, to despair and helplessness, to patience and hope, to ultimate elation and celebration – we raced through an array of emotions in these 3 days.

Instead of being a review of life experience, we experienced an entire life in that review.

In hindsight, it comes as a blessing in disguise for it enriches our lives and adds spice to our life. Amidst all this, I take home 1 important learning – Every experience is a life within and every experience documented is a lesson learnt in life.

Looking for the bigger picture, every decision we take in our life is based on such reviews, on lessons learnt.

Whether to take Commerce or Science after 10th grade..
Whether to do CA / CS… Whether to pursue Masters / MBA post under-graduation..
Whether to join a startup or an MNC..
Whether to work under someone or work for oneself..
Whether to free-lance or to start a company..

Life is all about choices. Every time we are spoilt for choices, its the lessons others have learnt, their experience, the hard yards they have put in…in 1 word – “review” that guides us. It may not necessarily be the final word, but definitely is a factor to be considered.

Hence every time someone posts a review of a gadget (read cNet, TechCrunch for App review, phone / laptop reviews), a restaurant review (remember Zomato/Yelp?) or even location / product reviews on Amazon, eBay – its a life experience documented.

While opponents may argue of the fake, incorrect, incomplete, flawed reviews and one can’t deny the possibility of their existence, still the worth of 1 genuine, real review overshoots the damage due to other fictitious ones. Again this may vary from person to person and situation to situation. But as it was in our case – Such quality reviews did settle our nerves..

Such an experience with reviews makes me wonder – how many times do we visit such sites and find them useful.. and how many times we could have documented our experience..We could have taken that pain of writing 4-5 lines on the product we used, on the solution that worked..

Here’s to the happy Zomato foodies, the thankful Amazon customers and so also to the unhappy, cheated YZ-kart user or the disgusted buyer!

Your views, documented ones – will never go waste.

Your words, real ones, have left an indelible mark, not just on digital platforms, but in the form of decisions and choices of other customers.

I pay tribute to such unsung heroes, whose digital footprint is nothing short of a valiant knock that a warrior takes upon himself. Your efforts are truly creditable.

I hope this serves as a clarion call to one and all
Its not just about you, its about the review
Its about spreading the word – good and bad
To make everyone’s life better and glad!


4 thoughts on “Life’s review or Life in a review?

  1. Greatly written but the snapshot taken are a bit blurry and cropped badly so must change that and the storyline is a bit incomplete as the characters are not well carved in the story


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