In the Greek embassy a selectee has been placed on Administrative Processing (AP) until she can provide her education information. She is currently almost finished with a University degree and presented her High School degree which she had authenticated by the Albanian embassy (because she is Albanian and completed High School in Albania. So – she had documents to prove that she completed High School, she is attending University but still she was put on AP and they want proof of her completion of primary and middle school.
So why did it happen. Well it was sort of understandable and exactly what I warn about in my post on education requirements.
- She interviewed in Greece (one of the toughest embassies according to my league table, meaning they apply the rules firmly).
- She is Albanian so went to school there (and the Greek embassy probably know nothing about the education system in Albanian).
The rules say you have to have an education comparable to US High school education (which takes satisfactory completion of 12 years of elementary and secondary level education). In practice, that point in the USA is the point at which you can enter University (known as college in USA). Note that you might fail a year or two in the USA so simple attendance is not the qualification – it is “High School graduation” level they are looking for.
Many people hear high school and they jump to the fact that they completed high school in their country (which does not always take the same 12 years and therefore is not quite enough to meet the requirement) OR they assume that because they have been to University or got a degree from University they have achieved the same level as the USA entry point. We’ll if the CO applies the rules “correctly” they should consider whether you completed (AND passed) the equivalent amount of education. Additionally, for some bizarre reason they have ruled out all forms of vocational education. They have also ruled out shortcut or test out methods to get into University.
So in this case the embassy didn’t have the Albanian system requirements to hand, and because they are following the rules, they are asking for evidence that she attended and passed 12 years of education at elementary and secondary education. Once she shows that, then you will not have a problem, and usually the AP on these cases will complete around a week or two after you supply the documents.
In this case, the selectee will be fine – she can obtain the needed proof and it is early in the year. However, if this happened later in the year (July/August/September) this could easily cost the selectee the visa because the visa place will not be held open while the selectee is on AP. Once AP is completed, a visa needs to be reallocated – and as many found out last year, there is not always a visa.
So – lessons to learn from this.
- This is proof that some COs will follow the letter of the rules in regard to education – even for an applicant that has gone beyond the requirement by attending university.
- It is essential to attend your interview with well prepared documents.
- Interviewing outside of your home country introduces some risk.
- Some embassies are more strict than others.
- Don’t be complacent and please listen to the experts who are sometimes “picky” about the rules. You may not understand or think you know better, but it is too easy to lose your visa over a silly, avoidable reason.
May 11, 2015 at 15:26
Reading that comment, I am concerned whether i pass the criteria.
My wife and I have won the lottery, and are applying on her nationality.
I am from Guernsey (UK), and attended 12 years of education (including reception), before completing 2 years of A level study. Though I only studied 2 A Level subjects.
That means I would have completed 14 years of education.
The 2 A level subjects were enough to get me in to Uni, though I did not finish the course.
I am pretty worried now. Would this not be enough to meet the requirements?
Thank you for your help.
May 11, 2015 at 15:44
If you completed your A levels you should be OK. Who was selected, you or her? If it is you, BOTH of you need to meet the criteria. If it is her, only she needs to meet the criteria (however, some COs may not know that part of the law). Don’t forget you can also show work experience if you meet the criteria for that.
May 11, 2015 at 16:01
Hi Simon, I did complete them, but only studied two.
It was my wife who was selected. She is of Latvian nationality.
She completed all 12 years of High School in Latvia, right up until the point where she could have started University. Though I am unsure how familiar the embassy in London will be with the Latvian education system.
Unfortunately I don’t think either of us meet the work requirements, as she is a carer, and I am a Manager in a taxi office.
Also i am stuck on the education section of the form.
Do i need to list a separate school to fit in each qualification?
Do i need to list my primary school?
I’m not sure how to prove that I attended reception through till Year 6.
What do i list A Levels and GCSE’s as? Degree, Certificate or Diploma?
Thank you so much for your help Simon. Your website is fantastic and has helped us to no end. If we make it to California I’ll buy your family a great meal somewhere, or failing that, I’ll just send you the money!
May 11, 2015 at 17:20
So Robert your education is completely unimportant. You won’t be asked about it and don’t have to even take proof to the interview. So – list your schooling (secondary level), but don’t stress about yours.
You are correct, London embassy may not know the Latvian ed system – they may check and you can certainly provide some additional information about how the Latvian system works.
May 11, 2015 at 17:31
Thank you so much Simon.
Your help has been invaluable.
May 11, 2015 at 18:04
no problem. America needs more Brits (and Latvians!)
May 11, 2015 at 22:41
I’ve been googling and trying to help myself, but I am really stuck on one part.
Do I need to send my supporting documents to NVC, or do I just take them with me to the interview?
Really sorry to be a bother!
Thank you again for your help.
May 12, 2015 at 00:09
You only submit the DS260 – everything else you take to the interview.
November 4, 2015 at 18:25
(DV2016 – october interview – skopje embassy)
I had an interview on Oct. 15. I provided an additional document on Oct. 27. I waited for an hour at the latter date in embassy and I received a yellow paper with the text: admin time. They said me that they will inform me for the visa thing.
Now, am wondering is this a normal thing for all applicants? Am I under an administrative processing or what? Please, whats your opinion on this?
Thanks in advance,
November 4, 2015 at 19:45
Yes you are under AP. No it is not “normal” but around 10% of cases get AP. The length of AP varies, mostly on the reason for the AP.
November 6, 2015 at 20:22
Thank you for the answer provided.
Please would you tell me also if it is possible at this time to check somewhere the status of the AP/visa case, and if so how to do it?
November 6, 2015 at 22:24
You cannot get progress checks on AP cases…
December 10, 2015 at 10:39
Can I check my AP visa application status on Ceac.state.gov. and if so when? Am trying to get access in but what am getting is always “invalid immigrant case number”. Please advise…
December 11, 2015 at 04:11
2016 data is not loaded into CEAC yet, so you cannot check.
December 3, 2015 at 10:49
I’d like to share an info from Belgrade embassy where two days ago, CO rejected the case because dv winner has finished theology high school. This school is a regular 4-year high school with a lot of social science subjects, without maths, chemistry, physics etc. After this school one can go to any University.
Anyway, CO said that without maths, chemistry and physics it does not meet US high school standards and rejected the case. Of course, it was a big shock for the winner as he never doubted his qualifications, so I hope this can help others to avoid paying fees and everything, but to check with embassy in advance.
December 3, 2015 at 15:03
Yes this happens with schools which provide a vocational (non general) education. They rules are clear about that, but of course, very few read the rules.
May 12, 2016 at 12:07
I did my Interview last week in Nairobi Kenya.
After the Interview the CO gave me the passport and remained with my original academic certificates and indicated they need to be verified. i know AP takes a maximum of 60days.
Any info u can provide well anything
May 12, 2016 at 13:23
Nope – you know all there is to know. Now you just wait.
January 30, 2017 at 21:06
please i need to know if you attend 12 years of high school but did repeat one class ex: grade 7twice that mean you did 13 years of school.
so when filling the form (years of start nd end)can someone jump that or write give only 12years?
if when you did put only surname and first name in dv entry didnt write middle name. can we correct it in DS form by writing surname.firstname and middle name?
or we need to writeto kcc for that?
January 31, 2017 at 01:24
Write the accurate number of years.
Correct the name in the DS260.
March 15, 2017 at 07:13
Just a question on the proof of education. Do I need to just show that I have passed my year 12 or do I need my results for years 1-11 also to prove that I went through 12yrs of schooling.
March 15, 2017 at 13:42
March 15, 2017 at 09:05
I hope you are fine.
DS-260 submitted May 4, never unlocked & already processed.
I am from Lebanon & being interviewed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Q1. Referring to Lesson # 3 in your article above and since the US embassy in Lebanon is more lenient than in Saudi Arabia, how risky is it to get interviewed outside my home country? I work full time in Saudi Arabia as a Civil Engineer & I actually travel to Lebanon every month or two. I am so flexible with my travel plans and if I have known about lesson 3 before I would have chosen my interview place in my home country. Do you think I should unlock my DS-260 & change the interview location?
Q2. I graduated in 2013 from the American University of Beirut with a Civil Engineering degree which is accredited by the New York state. However, assuming that the CO will give more importance to my high school degree, what should the presented certificate from my High School clearly state to prove that my education is comparable to US High school education and which governmental parties should attest the form. I assume that since my high school is in Lebanon then I should attest it at the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon..right? Should I then attest it by the Lebanese embassy in Saudi Arabia? Can you please advise on the correct procedure to follow..
Thank you a lot.
March 15, 2017 at 13:40
1. You are about to be scheduled, so it is probably too late to unlock or change. The risk is delay, not denial. So don’t worry about it.
2. I don’t know the procedures in each country. So, you follow procedures described by the embassy OR ones you know to be normal in your country.
March 15, 2017 at 18:26
Thanks again, I will follow your instructions!
May 23, 2019 at 16:51
grade 10 then 4 year vocational then 4 year university degree . Is it enough for education requirement? I have been finish my university degree in june 2019, can fill DS260 as university degree now even if I graduate in the next month
May 23, 2019 at 18:25
There is some risk. The vocational training cannot be counted.