What to Send the NVC: A Complete Guide

What the NVC Needs From You

To get your green card through a U.S. Consulate, you have to know what to send the NVC.  Below you can learn more about what you need to send to keep things moving along.  If your I-130 petition has not been approved, then you are not ready to send stuff to the NVC, and instead you have to check up on your I-130 case status.  And if you’re encountering delays at USCIS, you can learn more here.

Generally, the NVC needs three things from you: fees, applications and documents.  All three are sent through the Consular  Electronic Application Center or CEAC for short.

Once you log into CEAC, you’ll see something like this:

CEAC upload documents

In the next section we’ll discuss how to send the first thing needed, which is fees.



The first item to send the NVC is money.  As you can see on the CEAC home screen, there is a link to pay fees.  There are two types of fees relating to your immigrant visa application: fees for the visa ($325); and fees for the affidavit of support ($125).

Please note:  you cannot start your immigrant visa case until the fees are paid, and the $325 fee is required for each person who is seeking a green card. Example: if a spouse and child of a U.S. citizen want to immigrate to the U.S., then the $325 will need to be paid for each of them.

You will need to have a U.S. bank account in order to pay the fee. The system will ask you for the account number, routing number and your personal information. The easiest way to find this information is by looking at a check from a bank checking account. See below.

NVC fees

If you do not have a check handy, then it is best to login into your bank account online and search for this information.  Alternatively, you can make a trip to your bank and ask them for it.

Once you have paid the fees through CEAC, it will take about three days to process.  Be patient, because the NVC case system moves slowly.  You should also know that you will not receive email or mail notification that the fees have been paid.  To find out, you will need to login to the NVC CEAC system to confirm.  Once the fees show as “Paid,” then you can proceed with completing your immigrant visa application, on Form DS260.

Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260)

Next you’ll need to send the NVC your application.  You’ll upload your visa application through their system.  Lets take a look back at the screenshot:

CEAC screenshot

Under the applicant portion, confirm that the fees should show as “PAID.”

The next step is to click on the link under “IV Application.”  This is the link for completing your DS260.  Once you are on the page, you will see that the application appears long and complicated. You can find a sample DS-260 here.

To make things easier, you should gather the following information before you fill out the DS260:

  • Applicant’s full name
  • All the information on his or her valid unexpired passport
  • The Applicant’s current address and all addresses since he or she was 16 years old
  • The names, dates of birth and location of the Applicant’s  parents, child, spouse and other immediate family members.
  • Information about the Applicant’s visits to the U.S.
  • Information about all of the Applicant’s criminal and immigration violations from the past.

Supporting Documents

Once you have completed the DS260 and submitted it, then the NVC CEAC system will allow you to upload the required supporting documents.  The NVC CEAC online system will not let you upload anything with first submitting the DS260, so make sure this is complete before you move on to this step.

Here is what the screen to upload documents looks like:

Upload Documents CEAC

The “Submit Documents” button is circled to remind you that the NVC system only lets you submit documents after all of the documents are uploaded.

You will now need to digitally scan the documents listed below.  Before you do, remember that all scans must:  1) Be in color; 2) Be under 2 megabytes in size; and 3) Be either in .pdf or .jpg format.  With that in mind you will need to scan and upload the following documents.

Remember that each person’s case is different, so the list of documents needed may be slightly different for your case.  But generally, these are the documents required:

  • 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

Related Topics

Need more helpful information? We've got you covered.

B2 Visitor Visa: A Complete Guide

This article is a complete guide for filing B2 Visitor Visa. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

R1 Visa: A Complete Guide [2023]

The R1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa category that allows religious workers to enter the United States temporarily to engage in religious work.

TN Visa: A Guide To The Process

A TN visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work temporarily in the United States in certain professional occupations.

EB-4 Visa Processing and Waiting Time Impacted by April 2023 Visa Bulletin

On March 28, 2023, it was announced in the April 2023 Visa Bulletin that a new section has been added under "All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed," which includes all immigrant visa applicants for the Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB-4) category from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

L1 Visa: Visas For Employees of Foreign Companies

An L-1 visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign workers to enter the United States to work in a managerial or executive capacity, or to work in a position that requires specialized knowledge, for a company that has a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary company in the United States. Read this article to learn about the details of L1 Visa.

E2 Visa: Investor Visa in U.S.

An E2 Visa, also known as an investor visa, is a temporary visa you can use to come to the U.S. Read this article to learn about the details of getting an E2 visa.

Alien Number: Find Your A-Number [2023]

Immigration agencies assign many non-citizens an identification number. The agencies use this number for all filings and to keep track of non-citizens. For this reason, it's important for your to know if immigration has given you one. In this article, we'll explain the number know as the "alien number," how to find it and what you use it for,

F1 Visa Work Options: A Complete Guide [2023]

International students on F1 visas often ask if they can work legally. F-1 students can learn more here about whether they can work and where.

Public Charge Rule: Immigration’s New Rules

The Trump Administration has made it harder for immigrants to prove they financially qualify for a green card. Find out more about how to show you are not a public charge.

After An Immigrant Visa Interview: FAQ [2022]

After you finish your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy, there are still a few steps to getting your immigrant visa, and ultimately your green card.

Common Questions at a Consulate Visa Interview

You've filed your application for an immigrant visa, and you are awaiting a visa interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy. Here are some answers to common questions to help you prepare for your

NVC Case Processing: Answers to FAQ [2023]

If your case is at the National Visa Center, you may have questions about the purpose of the NVC, the length of the visa process, etc. Get answers to commonly asked questions about NVC cases.

NVC Case Delays: Speed Up Your Visa Case

If you are trying to get an immigrant visa through a U.S. consulate, you'll have to first deal with the National Visa Center. Delays can be frustrating for immigrants and lawyers. Find out more about handling NVC case delays.

NVC Case Status: Checking Your Case [2023]

Working with the National Visa Center to apply for an immigrant visa can take several months, and you'll often be left wondering about your NVC case status. Learn more about checking your NVC case status.

How to Know if the National Visa Center Has Your Case

Many people cannot get a green card without going through the National Visa Center (NVC). But how do you know if the National Visa Center even has your case? Find out more here.

Registering Online Before Your Immigrant Visa Interview

Depending on the consulate, you may have to register online before your immigrant visa interview. On this page we will explain exactly how to do it.

NVC Police Certificate: FAQs [2023]

Most applicants for immigrant visas will need to submit a police certificate, otherwise known as a "police clearance letter." Read below to learn more about what a clearance letter is and how to get it.

Getting a Medical Exam Before Your Visa Interview

A medical exam is required for all green card applicants, including applicants for immigrant visas. There are no exceptions to this rule and, while most applicants have no issues, there are some helpful things to remember that make the process smoother and less stressful.

Immigrant Visa Process: An Overview

Getting an immigrant visa to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident involves several steps, and doing it yourself is no easy task. Learn more about how the immigrant visa case process and how to get through it.

Visa Case Delays

Delays in visa processing are frustrating. Find out the most common reasons your visa case may get delayed, and what to do about it.