How do I check National Visa Center (NVC) Processing Times? - Resources Blog - US Immigration FAQs - Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law - Buffalo NY

The immigrant visa process involves three separate US Government agencies—the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), US Embassies and Consulates, and the National Visa Center (NVC), which is part of the US Department of State and handles the processing of immigrant visas (Green card applications). Once USCIS approves your petition, they will send your case to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. Here’s how to check on those current NVC processing times.

How does the National Visa Center (NVC) fit into the US immigration process?

First, the USCIS is responsible for the review and either approval or denial of the petition. Next, the NVC is responsible for preparing your visa application for an interview at the appropriate US Embassies or Consulate. Finally, US Embassies and Consulates are responsible for the final interview and ultimately issuing the immigrant visa. NVC must complete their verification before an interview will be scheduled at the US Consulate or Embassy.

How long does the NVC take to create my file?

Once the NVC will create your visa case and enter the data from your petition into their system, 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 between their approval to when receiving your 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.

How long does NVC take to review submissions?

If done correctly, the NVC Case Review time is typically between 1 and 4 months. Before the NVC can review your case, you must be sure to do the following:

  • Pay all required fees. The fees vary depending on the type of visa and the petition type.
  • Submit all required documents. Your case will not be sent to the US Embassies or Consulate until you have properly submitted all required documents, which vary based on petition type. Once all the proper documents have been reviewed and approved by the NVC, your case will be marked as “Documentarily Qualified.” Failure to provide ALL required documents or insufficient documents will result in your case remaining with the NVC.

When will my interview with the US Embassy or Consulate be scheduled?

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 your case is “Documentarily Qualified,” it 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.
When will my interview with the US Embassy or Consulate be scheduled?

How do I check National Visa Center (NVC) processing times?

The NVC updates its processing times on a weekly basis. You are able to verify current NVC Case Creation Times, NVC Case Review Times, and NVC Public Inquiry Response times here: NVC Processing Times

How do I make an inquiry with NVC?

The NVC provides an online platform to make inquiries about pending cases. A case inquiry should only be made if a case is outside the listed processing times or if there are extenuating circumstances that require assistance from NVC. You can make an inquiry with the  NVC here: NVC Public Inquiry Form

What is the NVC One-Year Contact Requirement?

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 203(g) your case will automatically terminate your case if you do not apply for an immigrant visa within one (1) year of notice of visa availability. The petition may be reinstated if, within two (2) years of notice of visa availability, you can show that your failure to apply was for reasons beyond your control. If you fail to respond to notices from the NVC within one (1) year you risk termination of your case and would need to begin the case from scratch.

My case is stuck, what can I do to move it along?

There are several potential options that can be used to move your immigration case that is stuck in the process. The following are a few options:

Mandamus Actions for Immigration Processing Delays

How do I request CIS Ombudsman support?

How do I get congressional help for my immigration case?

Additional Outside Resources

We Can Help!

Don’t know where to start? The immigration attorneys at Richards and Jurusik have more than 30+ years of experience in US immigration law. If you have questions about your particular situation, contact us for an assessment of your US immigration matters.

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