National Visa Center Processing and Interview Timelines for Immigrant Visas as of April 25, 2022

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By: Sharmila Karingula

If you are applying for a United States immigrant visa or green card with consular processing, the National Visa Center (NVC) plays an important role in your case. After your immigrant visa petition is approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency sends it to the NVC for pre-processing.

Processing times at the NVC can vary.

current Timelines at NVC

The NVC is currently working on cases that were received from USCIS on or before April 13, 2022.

The NVC creates visa cases by entering petition data into the system. Once your petition is entered, the NVC will send you processing instructions and a welcome letter that includes your case number and invoice ID. After you receive your welcome letter, you can log into your NVC online account to view case status information. Next, applicants must submit their fees, forms, and supporting documentation to the NVC. After reviewing your application, the NVC will schedule your immigrant visa interview.

As of April 25, 2022, the NVC is reviewing documents submitted on or before February 4, 2022. Applicants must still complete all necessary formalities for their applications before the NVC reviews their case. These steps may include paying all applicable fees and submitting all required documents, which vary based on the petition. Required documents may include but are not limited to:

  • The petitioner’s affidavit of support (Form I-864/I-864A).
  • Supporting financial documents.
  • The applicant’s DS-260
  • The applicant’s civil documents.

Visa processing times at the NVC are heavily impacted by whether you submit your required fees and paperwork in a timely manner.

Checking on Case Status

Applicants can send an inquiry to the NVC to check on the status of their case. The NVC is responding to inquiries received on or before March 5, 2022. This information is updated weekly.

The NVC urges applicants to submit a subsequent or duplicate inquiry only if they do not receive a response within the current timeframe mentioned above. Duplicate inquiries can slow the system and limit the NVC’s ability to respond in a timely manner.

If the NVC doesn’t receive a response for notices sent within a year, the petition could be terminated.[1] These applicants would lose certain benefits of the terminated petition, such as their priority date.

Delays for Immigrant Visa Applications

Additionally, since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the Department of State’s ability to process immigrant visa applications. US embassies and consulates are working to resume routine visa services as soon as possible while taking safety precautions. However, the pandemic continues to limit the number of visas that US embassies and consulates abroad can process. Below are the numbers:

  • Immigrant visa applicants whose cases are documentarily complete at NVC and ready as of March 31, 2022: 453,797
  • Documentarily complete immigrant visa applications scheduled for April 2022 interview appointments: 32,439.
  • Eligible immigrant visa applicants awaiting a scheduled interview after April 2022 appointment scheduling was completed: 421,358.

Conclusion

Your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional can help you understand how NVC processing times may impact your case. Contact them today.

[1] Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): Section 203 (g).

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