Asked to submit passport and documents

F1 visa PhD in ecology at University of South Carolina
Interview at Chennai consulate: 221g given along with my passport returned and was told that consulate will contact me in a day or two.
Emailed them stating no email was sent, got a reply stating they will contact soon. Got an email to submit “passport, hard copy of email and documents at VFC.” Went to VFC and they said they only accept passport and not documents but finally took it. Emailed consulate on the same day stating the issue. Got a reply saying that they will need only the documents and not the passport. Replied stating that I have submitted passport and documents as instructed in the 1st email. Got a reply on stating that they have received my passport and documents both electronically and the hard copy and my case in pending under administrative processing. I didn’t understand their stance on first asking the passport and then saying that they don’t need. Will it take a long time to process it or is asking for the passport an indication of my visa being approved?

In the interview I had stated that I have worked with toxic resistance in insects and didn’t have my CV when they asked for it. The VOF said they everything else checks out, we just need a few more stuff.

Give it a few more weeks. It is standard delay these days across all visa classes. They are verifying your statement against university research focus. USC has 6 research areas and these are all highly prestigious and recognized globally. You have nothing to worry about.

Dear Dr. Shankar, thank you so much for your comment, it really made me hopeful. I was just worried wrt the details on my CV. During the interview, when asked about my research, I used words like “GM crops” to explain my research to the VO (to makes things simpler), whereas my research has no practical application which I have stated in the CV (where I have included the published material as well). My issue was if they are going to go after this and see it differently.

Thank you once again for your reply, it surely calmed me down