National Visa Center (NVC)

National Visa Center (NVC) Processing Times

National Visa Center (NVC) Processing Times

The immigrant visa process involves three separate US Government agencies. (1) US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who is responsible for the review and either approval or denial of the petition. (2) The National Visa Center (NVC), who is responsible for preparing your visa application for an interview at the appropriate US Embassies or Consulate. And, (3) US embassies and Consulates, who are responsible for the final interview and ultimately issuing the immigrant visa.

Below we break down the steps with the NVC and associated processing times. The NVC publicly lists their processing times so that you can determine where your case is at in the process. Processing times with the NVC are updated weekly. Current NVC Processing Times.

  1. NVC Case File Creation Timeframe – Once USCIS approves your petition, they will send your case to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. The NVC will create your visa case and enter the data from your petition into their system. After creating your case, they will send you instructions for processing, as well as a Welcome Letter that includes your Case Number and Invoice ID. USCIS states the standard timeframe from approval to when you should receive a case creation from the NVC is 45 days. You should wait at least 45 days to contact NVC after your petition has been approved by USCIS. If it has been at least 45 days and you have not heard from the NVC you can contact them through the NVC Public Inquiry Form
  2. NVC Case Creation Review Timeframe -Before the NVC can review your case, you must pay all fees and submit all required documents. Required documents vary based on petition type. Your case will not be sent to the US Embassies or Consulate until you have properly submitted all required documents and they have “Documentarily Qualified” your case. As the case is documentarily qualified once all the proper documents have been reviewed and approved by the NVC. Failure to provide ALL required documents or insufficient documents will result in your case remaining with the NVC until documentarily qualified. If done correctly, the NVC Case Review time is typically between 1-4 months. Current NVC Processing Times.
  3. US Embassy or Consulate Interview – The US Embassy or Consulate tells the NVC which dates they are holding interviews. The NVC fills immigrant visa appointments on a first-in, first-out basis and cannot predict when an interview will be scheduled. Once documentarily qualified, your case will remain at NVC until an appointment is scheduled, at which time the NVC will send your case to the appropriate US Embassy or Consulate. The NVC will notify the applicant, petitioner, and attorney (if applicable) when an appointment is scheduled.
  4. NVC Public Inquiry Response Timeframe – If your case is outside listed processing times, or if you have questions about your case, you can submit an inquiry to the NVC through a public inquiry. The response time to public inquiry with the NVC can be anywhere from a few days to a few months. You can make an NVC Public Inquiry here.

Working with the NVC can be complicated if you are not familiar with their processes and document requirements. Failure to provide the required documents in an acceptable format or timely manner can significantly impact the processing times for your case. If you require assistance with the NVC we can help.

Speak with a US Immigration Lawyer