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I'm applying for the B1/B2 visa and went through the interview, sent in additional documents, and after a few weeks got a message saying "The U.S. Consulate in Toronto requests that you submit your passport for visa issuance." on Nov 2. So I assumed my application was approved and sent in my passport on Nov 7.

It didn't occur to me that I needed to check the CEAC website instead of the consulate website for status update until today (yeah I know...), so I did and it said my status is still "Administrative Processing" and was last updated on Nov 6.

I didn't check the website between Nov 2 to Nov 6 so I'm not sure what happened in between, but is it possible to go from approved back to processing? Has anyone gone through something similar?

I have travel plans that require my passport in December, so I sent them an email in the hope of getting my passport back. Does anyone have any experience with that and know how long it could take?

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  • Update for others that may run into this in the future: the status has changed to "Approved". Looks like it was just a delayed update on Nov 6 and hopefully the visa will be issued soon. Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 17:45

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I ended up in a similar situation last year. I had a B1/B2 application in administrative processing, handled through the US embassy in Paris. In July 2022 they asked me to send my passport to the embassy; I had travel planned for September, so before sending it I asked them if I would get it back before then, and was told I should.

By late August I had no news of my passport, and with travel looming, I emailed the embassy to ask them where my passport was. A week later they told me that my passport was still at the embassy, and that my application was still under administrative processing (I hadn’t even thought to check the CEAC site...). I asked them to send my passport back to me, since there was technically still time for that to work; but that didn’t happen, and ultimately I had to travel to the embassy to retrieve my passport.

The last part happened over the course of a few days, and involved a couple of escalations made possible by the helpline staff; at the time the embassy staff were overworked and email responses were slow (around a week’s delay). At least in Paris, as I understand it, you’re supposed to have prior approval before a visit (unless you’re a US citizen of course, but that doesn’t apply here); I only got that two days before my planned travel, and ended up traveling to the embassy the day before my planned travel, all the while hoping that they wouldn’t get to my emails asking them to post the passport back to me...

If it’s at all possible for you, I would suggest making arrangements to travel to the consulate to retrieve your passport. At least that way you’ll know where it is!

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  • Wow that's stressful, glad you got your passport back on time though! I looked up the message they sent me and found a few people saying their status didn't change from refused/ap to approved until about 2 weeks after they sent in the passport when the consulate is ready to mail back the passport. So I'm hoping that's my case as well and the Nov 6 update was just the Nov 2 update delayed on the CEAC site. But it's crazy you were able to get your passport back by showing up in person, I'd never thought to do that but will keep it as last resort. Thank you for sharing! Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 15:42

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