NVC Case Processing: Answers to Common Questions

Questions About Your NVC Case

If your case is as the National Visa Center (NVC), you may have a lot of questions about NVC case processing, like the purpose of the NVC, the length of the process, and what you need to send.  Below, find out answers to commonly asked questions about your NVC case.


What is the NVC?

The NVC stands for the National Visa Center.

The NVC is an agency within the U.S. Department of State.  The Department of State is the agency of the government that, in part, oversees immigration cases at immigration offices outside of the U.S.  These foreign offices are referred to as consulates or embassies.

The NVC is located in New Hampshire, USA.  The NVC organizes and processes applications for immigrant visas. An “immigrant visa” is a type of visa that lets you enter the U.S., stay in the U.S. on a permanent basis, and receive a green card (or lawful permanent resident card).

As part of this processing, you have to send lots of items to the NVC, including your fees, application, and supporting documents.  After the NVC gets what it needs, it will schedule you a visa interview at the U.S. consulate in your country.

How will I know if the NVC has my case?

The NVC will notify you by mail or by email.  It is very important, therefore, to inform NVC of your address or email.  You can n0tify the NVC of your address through AskNVC where you can fill out an online form.  Or you can call (603) 334 0888. When you speak to someone over the phone, make sure you are ready to provide the names, dates of birth of all people involved in the case.  You should also have available any receipt notices or other documents you have received from immigration officials.  Once you know the NVC has your case, be sure to check your case status.

How long will NVC take to process my case?

After you have submit your visa application, fees, and supporting documents to the National Visa Center, it can take 2-3 months for NVC to review your file and confirm that it has everything it needs.

After the NVC sends you confirmation that it has what it needs, then you can expect to wait between 2-6 months for the NVC to schedule you an interview at the U.S. consulate in your home country.  After your interview is scheduled, you will need to get a medical exam and registering online.

Why is the NVC taking so long?

The NVC processes cases at different speeds at different times depending on how many cases they are handling. The more people applying for visa, the longer it takes. That said, NVC case delays are frustrating.

The most important thing is that the NVC has confirmed that it has received from you all of the necessary forms and supporting documents.  If you have not received confirmation, then you should contact the NVC as soon as possible.  You can contact them through their webpage on AskNVC and complete their online submission or call (603) 334 0888.

Can I send documents to NVC online?

It is important to note that you can only send the NVC documents in the manner or way that they want you to.  In other words, if NVC wants you to scan and upload documents to their system then that is what you must do.  If they want you to mail copies in then you should mail them in.

The way to find out how you send your documents is to login here.  You will need your case number and invoice number.  Both of these will be on the notices sent to you by mail or email from the NVC.  The email or mail will be titled “Notice of Immigrant Visa Case Creation” and will contain instructions where and how to login to Consular Electronic Application Center.

What if I need to make changes to my immigrant visa application (DS-260)?

If you have not submitted your immigrant visa application, then you can log in to your account at the Consular Electronic Application Center. and make changes to the DS260 online.  If you have already submitted the DS260 to the NVC, then you cannot make any changes to the form.  You will have to wait until your interview at the consulate or embassy to inform the officer at that time that you need to change your responses.  To find out more about what to expect at your interview, check out this article.

What does the NVC do after my I-130 visa petition is approved?

Two agencies are involved in the process to bring a family member from outside of the U.S.  The first agency, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) reviews and approves the immigrant visa petition, Form I-130.  If you are currently communicating with the National Visa Center, then should have received a notice in the mail telling you your I-130 was approved.

After approval of the I-130, USCIS  sends your case to the second agency, the National Visa Center (NVC).  Once the NVC receives the approved I-130 petition, the NVC will create a case for your family member and mail or email you instructions on how to proceed.  It normally takes 4 – 6 weeks to receive this notice from the NVC.

When you receive the notice from the NVC, you will be asked to log in into their system (known as CEAC) using a case number and invoice number.  There you will pay two fees, for $325 and $120.  The system will then ask you to complete an immigrant visa application for your family member, on a Form DS260.  You will also be required to upload electronic scanned copies of documents such as your family member’s passport and birth certificate.

How will the NVC contact me?

The NVC will contact you by mail or by email.  

How can I contact the NVC?

There are two ways to contact the NVC:

  • You may contact the NVC online through: AskNVC.  In order to use this method you should have a valid email address and all information related to your case
  • You may also call the NVC at 603 334-0700. You will need to have all the information related to you and your relative including, but not limited to, any immigration receipt numbers, full names and dates of birth.

What information will the NVC want to know about me?

The following is information that the NVC will need to know:

  • Your full name
  • All the information on your valid unexpired passport
  • Your current address and all addresses since you were 16 years old
  • The names, dates of birth and location of your parents, child, spouse and other immediate family members
  • Information about your visits to the U.S.
  • Information about any prior criminal and immigration violations


What documents will I send the NVC?

You will need to send the following:

  • Your passport information page.  This is the page with your picture, name and other information
  • Your birth certificate with translation, if necessary
  • Your marriage certificate, if you have one.  You will also need to translate this if in a foreign language.
  • Any divorce decrees, if they exist.   You will also need to translate them if in a foreign language.
  • Any Court or Prison documents if you have ever been arrested in any country.
  • Police certificates for every country you have lived in for more than 6 months since you were 16 years old.  Police certificates are different depending on the country so you will need to check the specifics on the Department of State Reciprocity Table.
  • The family member who petitioned for you will also need to submit their U.S. Passport, Taxes and form I-864

For more information on what to send the NVC, read here.


How do I send documents to the NVC?

It depends.  The NVC asks that the documents be uploaded onto their system or sent by regular mail depending on when the case was filed.  Newer cases will upload color scanned copies of the documents and older cases will be asked to mail their documents to the NVC.

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