Why do US embassies hold the applicants passports for months and?
The consulate cannot hold onto your passport for too long because its your identity and important to have in your possession. Thats why they will try their best to issue a visa and return you the entire packet. If they intend to approve your visa application, but are held back due to background checks or other US government agencies for any reason, they may be forced to delay the processing of your case. If theyve held your passport beyond your comfort level or beyond reasonableness, you can demand it back of course that would mean further delays for your visa application.