9 FAM 601.4

(U) Supervision and Management Issues

(CT:VISA-1151;   09-14-2020)
(Office of Origin:  CA/VO)

9 FAM 601.4-1  (U) visa section supervision

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

a. (U) Supervision:  See 7 FAH-1 H-642

b. (U) Authority and Accountability for Decisions and Actions:  See 7 FAH-1 H-643.

c.  (U) Standard Operating Procedures:  See 7 FAH-1 H-264.

9 FAM 601.4-2  (U) adjudication standards and supervisory case review

(CT:VISA-847;   06-04-2019)

a. (U) Adjudication Standards:

(1)  (U) Adjudication standards are a shared understanding among adjudicators, guided by consular managers, about how to adjudicate cases at a particular post in the local context.  Establishment and monitoring of visa adjudication standards are two of the most important roles of a consular manager working in a visa operation.  Standard-setting assures quality control by ensuring that adjudicatory decisions are appropriate, fair, and uniform at each post, even as adjudicators base decisions on the specific circumstances of each case.  They also ensure correct application of applicable law and regulations, and should be drafted with a view to enhancing U.S. border security, while facilitating legitimate travel.  Furthermore, setting and monitoring standards can help to detect and prevent misfeasance or malfeasance. 

(2)  (U) Establishment of adjudication standards, and monitoring to ensure that line officers adjudicate according to these norms, are part of the performance management cycle:  Managers must train adjudicators on the standards; ensure all consular officers in the section meet periodically to discuss and calibrate standards, which should be adjusted as needed due to changing local conditions and through metrics such as validations studies; conduct adjudication reviews to monitor how officers are putting them into practice; provide feedback (both positive and negative); and feed these data into the performance management process.  

b. (U) Systemic, Regular Reviews:  Systematic, regular review of NIV adjudications is a significant management and instructional tool to maintain the highest professional standards of adjudication.  This supervisory review must be conducted on-line using the review function in the Consular Consolidated Database.  See 9 FAM 504.11-3(A)(2) for supervisory review of immigrant visa (IV) adjudications and 7 FAH-1 H-648.1-3 for Supervisory Review of Issuances and Refusals

c.  (U) Reviewing NIV Issuances: 

(1)  (U) Consular supervisors must review as many nonimmigrant visa (NIV) issuances as is practicable, but not fewer than 10% of NIVs issued.  The designated supervisory officer must review the case and either confirm or disagree with the issuance.

(2)  (U) See 9 FAM 403.12-4 for additional information on supervisory review of NIV issuances.  See also 9 FAM 307.4 for information regarding supervisory review and VLA violations. 

d. (U) Reviewing NIV Refusals: 

(1)  (U) Consular supervisors must review as many nonimmigrant visa refusals as is practical but not fewer than 10% of such refusals.  Such a review is a significant management and instructional tool and is useful in maintaining the highest professional standards of adjudication.  It helps ensure uniform and correct application of the law and regulations.

(2)  (U) See 9 FAM 403.12-3 for additional information on supervisory review of NIV refusals and issues related to a reviewing officers’ non-concurrence with the refusal.

9 fam 601.4-3  (U) visa workload and workflow

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

a. (U) Managing Workload:  See 7 FAH-1 H-261.  See 7 FAH-1 H-262 for guidance in analyzing visa section operations and 7 FAH-1 H-263 for basic concepts and techniques used to manage visa workload. 

b. (U) Managing Workflow:  See 7 FAH-1 H-283.

c.  (U) Telephones:  See 7 FAH-1 H-444.1 and 7 FAH-1 H-263.4.  See 7 FAH-1 H-444 for additional details on effectively handling incoming and outgoing calls.

d. (U) See also 9 FAM 601.7-2 on managing correspondence workloads.

9 FAM 601.4-4  (U) consular reports related to visa operations

9 FAM 601.4-4(A)  (U) Consular Reports – General Information

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

a. (U) Consular Reports - Introduction: 

(1)  (U) See 7 FAH-1 H-431 paragraph a and 7 FAH-1 H-436.

(2)  (U) Reporting, Planning and Budgeting:  See 7 FAH-1 H-431

b. (U) Consular Package:  See 7 FAH-1 H-431.  See 7 FAH-1 H-432 for additional information on the Consular Package.

c.  (U) Performance Reports From Consular Systems:  See 7 FAH-1 H-645.6.

d. (U) Posts should submit all required reports to the Department via the appropriate software system, or by email, fax or memorandum, as indicated in the summaries of required reports (9 FAM 601.4-4(B)).  Such reports are in addition to any political reports prepared on the same subject.

e. (U) 9 FAM 601.4-4(B) provides summary charts of required visa-related reports, and 9 FAM 601.4-4(C) addresses specific requirements for some of the more common visa-related reports.

9 FAM 601.4-4(B)  (U) Summaries of Required Visa-Related Reports

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

a. (U) There are three types of consular reporting requirements, summarized in the following sections:

(1)  (U) Periodic reports (reports to be submitted at regularly scheduled intervals – see 9 FAM 601.4-4(B)(1);

(2)  (U) Reports based upon external situational events (reports based on changes in foreign government visa-, clearance- or document-related practices or changes to post’s mailing address – see 9 FAM 601.4-4(B)(2); and

(3)  (U) Case-related reports (reports on particular types of visa cases or individual case scenarios - see 9 FAM 601.4-4(B)(3).

b. (U) See 9 FAM 601.4-4(C) for specific instructions on some types of required reports.  See also 9 FAM 601.7 for guidance on visa correspondence (some of which includes consular reports), and 9 FAM 603.1, Protecting Visa Information and 9 FAM 603.2, Releasing Visa Information.

9 FAM 601.4-4(B)(1)  (U) Periodic Reports From Visa Sections

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

(U) Periodic reports are submitted at regularly scheduled intervals, and may be required monthly or semi-annually.  The following chart summarizes the reports and where further information on reporting requirements can be found.






(U) For posts authorized to issue immigrant visas. Prepare and dispatch to the Department (CA/VO/DO/I), attn: IVAMS, within 5 days after close of reporting period.


Immigrant Visa Workload Monthly Report, Report 28

9 FAM 504.3-2(C)

Electronic datafile only. (Negative reports are required.)

(U) For posts authorized to issue immigrant visas. Submit in time to reach the Department (CA/VO/DO/I), attn: IVAMS, by the first of each month.


Monthly Report of Documentarily Qualified Visa Applicants, Report 20

9 FAM 504.3-2(A)

Electronic datafile only. (Negative reports are not required.)

(U) For posts authorized to issue immigrant visas. Prepare and dispatch to the Department (CA/VO/DO/I), attn: IVAMS, within 5 days after close of reporting period.


Returned Visa Authorizations, Report 22

9 FAM 504.3-2(D) paragraph b

Electronic datafile only. (Negative reports are not required.)


(U) For posts authorized to issue nonimmigrant visas. Posts must Q.A. all issued cases by April 10 for the period October through March and by October 10 for the period April through September.


Semiannual Report of Nonimmigrant Visas Issued and Refused

9 FAM 601.4-4(C)(1) paragraph a

Not required from posts. (Compiled in the Department from the Consular Consolidated Database)


(U) Only required when specifically requested.

Annual Report of Visa Applicants Subject to Numerical Limitations, Report 29

9 FAM 504.3-2(D) paragraph e


9 FAM 601.4-4(B)(2)  (U) Visa-Related Reports Based on Changes to External Situations

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

(U) The following chart summarizes non-periodic reports required of posts, based on changes in foreign government visa-, clearance-, or document-related practices or changes to post’s mailing address.  These reports ensure that we maintain up-to-date foreign passport information, visa reciprocity schedules and clearance procedures.




(U) Civil documents and records—Availability


Reciprocity Schedules


(U) Clearance Procedures and post APO or FPO number


Reciprocity Schedules


(U) Nonimmigrant visas, foreign schedules—validity, number of applications for admission, and fees

9 FAM 403.8 and Reciprocity Schedules



(U) Passports, Foreign—Samples of, information on, and extended validity of foreign passports

9 FAM 403.9-3(E)



(U) Reciprocity Provisions of—INA 212(d)(8)(C-3 Visas)


9 FAM 403.8-3


(U) Foreign government limitations on employment of U.S. information media

9 FAM 402.11-7

9 FAM 402.11-15


9 FAM 601.4-4(B)(3)  (U) Visa Case-Related Reports

(CT:VISA-1151;   09-14-2020)

(U) Posts are required to provide reports on a variety of case-related events or situations.  Officers should consult the cited references for additional information.







(U) Private bill reports

9 FAM 502.7-5(C)

Fax, e-mail, or Cable

(U) Issuance of visa to beneficiary of private legislation

9 FAM 502.7-5(D)

Email to Member of Congress; information copy to CA/P


(U) Revocation of A, G, C-2, C-3, or NATO visa


9 FAM 403.11-4(C)

Email to officer in CA/VO/SAC/RC as well as to CA/VO/DO/DL and L/CA's diplomatic visa portfolio holders



9 FAM 601.4-4(C)  (U) Instructions for Selected Visa-Related Reports

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

(U) See 9 FAM 601.4-4(B) for summaries of required visa-related reports, and 7 FAH-1 Exhibit H-436 for a summary of (more general) consular reporting requirements.  This section, 9 FAM 601.4-4(C), provides more specific information on certain of these reports.

9 FAM 601.4-4(C)(1)  (U) NIV-Related Reports

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

a. (U) Semiannual Report of Nonimmigrant Visas Issued and Refused:  Reports of nonimmigrant visas issued and refused are compiled in the Department semiannually.  The reporting periods are October 1 - March 31 and April 1 - September 30.  The nonimmigrant data are continuously replicated to the Consular Affairs Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) in Washington, DC. Therefore, posts are not required to submit a formal report.  Posts’ semiannual report data will be retrieved from the CCD approximately 10 days after the end of each reporting period.  Any cases that were printed during the semiannual reporting period but have not gone through the quality assurance (Q.A.) test with a Q.A. reader will not be included in the semiannual workload totals.  Therefore, posts should verify that there are no cases pending the Q.A. process.

b. (U) Reports Required to Maintain Reciprocity Schedules:  Posts must maintain current information on the visa requirements for U.S. nationals entering foreign countries in their Country Specific Information pages.  Information on fees charged by foreign governments for nonimmigrant visas issued to U.S. citizens, and the periods for which these visas are valid, must also be updated on a continuing basis.  See 9 FAM 403.8-3 for additional information on reporting requirements related to nonimmigrant visa reciprocity.

9 FAM 601.4-4(C)(2)  (U) IV-Related Reports

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

a. (U) Reports of Immigrant Visas Issued and Refused:  All posts issuing immigrant visas must submit an Immigrant Visa Workload Monthly Report (Report 28 in the automated system) to the Visa Office (CA/VO/DO/I), attn: IVAMS, by electronic transmission within 5 days after the close of each reporting period. Diversity visa (DV) issuance and refusal data are included on the Report 28. (See 9 FAM 504.3-2(C).)

b. (U) Report of Documentarily Qualified Immigrant Visa Applicants:  Each immigrant visa-issuing post that has reportable applicants in immigrant categories subject to numerical limitation who have become documentarily qualified during that reporting period must submit Report 20 to the Department by electronic transmission.  Posts must prepare and send Report 20 in time for the Department to receive it by the first of each month for use in the determination of the following month's final action dates.  See 9 FAM 504.3-2(A) for additional information on preparing the Documentarily Qualified Report, and for a sample Report 20.

c.  (U) Report of Monthly Returns of Unused Visa Numbers:  Posts must return promptly to the Department any IV allocations that have not been used in the authorized month (Monthly Returns of Unused Visa Numbers - Report 22 in the automated system) by electronic transmission within 5 days after the close of each reporting period.  See 9 FAM 504.3-2(D) for additional information on reporting on unused visa numbers.

d. (U) Report on Significant Factors Affecting Visa Work: 

(1)  (U) Posts must report on any significant factors or unusual circumstances that affect immigrant visa operations.  See 9 FAM 504.3-2(D) for additional information on this requirement.

(2)  (U) Visa issuing officers must report by Cable (CVIS: OPERATIONS) significant changes in the following factors, as they occur:

(a)  (U) Classes of visas issued;

(b)  (U) Types of applicants seeking visas; and

(c)  (U) Political, economic, and psychological factors affecting the volume and character of visa issuance.

(3)  (U) When appropriate, the consular officer should address the probable effect of the reported changes on the post’s future workload.  The consular officer must clear the reports with political and economic officers and labor attaches assigned to the post in order to obtain their comments and avoid duplication in reporting.

(4)  (U) The consular officer must promptly inform the Department (CA/VO/DO/I), by cable or by email, attn: IVAMS, whenever the post is unable or will be unable for two consecutive months to schedule for final appointment all qualified applicants for whom numbers are available.  Reports should include a detailed analysis of the anticipated duration of the backlog and suggested steps, including personnel needs, to rectify the situation.

e. (U) Reporting Special Immigrant Issuances under INA 101(a)(27)(K):  Section 2 of the Armed Forces Adjustment Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-110) established a new special immigrant class under INA 101(a)(27)(K) (see 22 CFR 42.32(d) and 9 FAM 502.5-8).  Documentarily qualified demand in this class should not be reported; allocations for this class will not be made by the Department.  Issuances, however, must be reported on the Immigrant Visa Workload Monthly Report by specific visa classification symbol (SM1, SM2, or SM3).

9 FAM 601.4-4(C)(3)  (U) Other Visa-Related Reports

(CT:VISA-1151;   09-14-2020)

a. (U) List of Consular Reports:  See 7 FAH-1 H-436.

b. Unavailable

c.  (U) Foreign Passport Information Report:  The Department and other U.S. Government agencies require up-to-date information concerning foreign passports.  All posts dealing with a central government authority are requested to report to the Office of Fraud Prevention Programs (CA/FPP) and the Office of Visa Services (CA/VO) on a timely basis on the types of passports issued by the governments to which they are accredited.

(1)  (U) Data to be Included in Report: 

(a)  (U) The types of passports, including emergency passports, issued by the foreign government;

(b)  (U) Visa classes of persons to whom such documents are issued;

(c)  (U) Criteria for their issuance;

(d)  (U) Qualifications of the persons to whom they are issued;

(e)  (U) Period of validity of passports issued;

(f)   (U) Whether more than one person may be included in a single passport; and

(g)  (U) Whether passports are machine-readable with an integrated chip containing information from the data.

(2)  (U) Other Required Data:

(a)  (U) The types of passports issued by the foreign government designed strictly for emigration;

(b)  (U) Criteria for their issuance;

(c)  (U) Qualifications of the persons to whom they are issued; and

(d)  (U) Period of validity of such passports.

(3)  (U) Desirability of Passport/Document Samples and Regulations: 

(a)  (U) If the foreign government regulations permit, these reports should include two samples of new passports and equivalent documents issued since the post's previous report.  These samples should also include information on the issuing authority and on any restrictions; e.g., issued only in one central domestic location, de-centralized but domestic issuance only, etc.  These documents should be forwarded to CA/FPP, which will retain them in a document library and share such documents with U.S. Government forensic laboratories and other authorities.

(b) (U) Posts should also, if possible, provide the Department a copy or summary of pertinent foreign passport regulations so that it can be determined, for example, whether a particular foreign passport may be considered the equivalent of a diplomatic passport as that term is defined in 22 CFR 41.26(a)(3).

(c)  (U) Posts can reciprocate and offer U.S. passport exemplars in exchange for host country documents.  U.S. exemplars for this purpose can be obtained from CA/FPP.

9 FAM 601.4-5  (U) daily, weekly, monthly, and annual procedures related to visa operations

(CT:VISA-711;   11-26-2018)

a. (U) 7 FAH-1 Exhibit H-436, 7 FAH-1 H-734, and 7 FAH-1 H-740 summarizes daily, monthly, and periodic responsibilities for Accountable Consular Officers and consular cashiers related to fees.

b. (U) 7 FAH-1 Exhibit H-436 lists most reports required of consular sections, and the   time of year they are due.