By: Shah Peerally Esq.

A lot of people apply to the government of the United States for immigrant visas and some non immigrant visas. Once the petition for the Visa has been approved by the USCIS it is then forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). It is this center that sends further instructions to the candidates on what action needs to be taken.

The National Visa Center has had a history associated with the US immigration. This institution, meant to help in immigration activities, came into force in 1994, when the State Department established the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The privately operated National Visa Center processes the approved immigrant visa petitions and keeps them until till further steps are taken for the process to be complete.

Once your immigration petition is received by the National Visa Center they will ask you to produce request relevant documents and the visa processing fees before the person for whom you have petitioned is called to the American embassy in their country for the scheduled visa interview. Once the fees is paid and the documents have been received and checked, the National Visa Center transfers the entire file to the American Embassy in the country where the visa interview will take place.

The National Visa Center creates a case number for every petition that it receives and also provides an ‘Affidavit of Support Processing’ and an ‘Applicant Document Processing’. You must remember that the instructions of the National Visa Center must be followed very carefully. If you sending wrong documentation or fees when it is not required, it will only lead to further delays in the processing.

Depending on which visa category you have applied for and the native country of the applicant, the petition remains at the National Visa Center. When the applicant’s petition is about to become current the petition is forwarded to the appropriate U.S. embassy or in the case of applicant adjusting status in the U.S. it is forwarded to the appropriate Department of Homeland Security office. Since the National Visa Center gets a lot of queries regarding the visa status queries, they have a customer service feedback day when the public can talk to operators about the information they provide.
Apart from immigrant visa cases, the National Visa Center also caters to the processing of K1 and K3 visas for consular interviews after the petition has been approved by the USCIS.

In addition to general enquiries regarding the movement of your petition you must notify the National Visa Center in case of-
Change of marital status:
– Address change
– Addition children being added to the family
– Change or removal of your attorney
– Death of the petitioner

Once the priority date is current, in case of emergency cases like life and death cases, the National Visa Center makes concessions in hurrying up its processing. Note that unless a case is extremely urgent, the processing follows the normal course.

With the INA 221g and other difficulties in dealing with National Visa Center and the US embassy or US consulate, a lawyer who can help you in the process can actually make a huge difference. For more information about processing your case with the NVC or the US Consulate, contact us at 510 742 5887.