The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not the only place through which an immigration visa petition must pass before being considered as valid. In addition to the visa’s approval which is issued by the USCIS, the National Visa Center, or NVC, must also be involved. It is here, at the NVC, that the visa will be officially processed. As such, the NVC plays a notable role in the steps of the immigration process that follow a visa’s approval by the USCIS.
Once a visa petition reaches the NVC, the next steps of the immigration process can be officially brought underway. Included in the roles of the NVC are to provide explicit instructions to the petition, sponsor, and applicant of the visa; to review Affidavit Support forms that are received from sponsors; to collect application forms and fees and any other documents associated with an applicant’s visa.
At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, we recognize the weight that an applicant’s visa can carry, and as such, we are intent on providing foreign national applicants with all of the information that they need to feel secure in the process of obtaining a visa in the U.S. Below, you can find a breakdown of the general process that your visa petition will go through once it has been transferred to the NVC by the USCIS.
An important aspect to the processing of your visa petition is the Priority Date that is assigned to it. A Priority Date is the date used to determine an applicant’s turn to apply for an immigrant visa, and the date issued will depend on the particular circumstances of the immigrant applying for a visa. For example, employment immigration visas will likely have a priority date that corresponds with the date upon which their labor application fee was received. The priority date for a family immigration visa will be the date upon which the petition was filed at a DHS.
If an applicant’s priority date does not meet the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will take action to notify the applicant of the situation. The NVC will then hold the applicant’s petition until their Priority Date matches the most recent Qualifying Date. Assuming that your Priority Date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will act as follows:
How do I know what my Priority Date is?
At the time that you filed your immigrant visa petition with the USCIS, you were assigned a Priority Date (also issued by the USCIS). To verify your Priority Date, you can refer to the Approval Notice that you received from the USCIS.
How do I know what the Qualifying Date is?
The Department of State updates the Qualifying Dates on a monthly basis. You can check with the DOS to verify the current Qualifying Date.
How do I know if my Priority Date meets the Qualifying Date?
You can visit the Visa Bulletin located on the Department of State’s website to determine whether or not your Priority Dates meets the current Qualifying Date. Generally speaking, if your Priority Date is earlier than the identified Qualifying Date for your visa class and for your foreign state chargeability, then your Priority Date will meet the most recent Qualifying Date. If this is the case, your petition is ready to begin processing at the National Visa Center.
What happens after my immigrant visa petition is sent to the National Visa Center by USCIS?
Assuming that your priority date falls under the most recent Qualifying Date, the National Visa Center will proceed with the following steps:
1. The NVC will send you an invoice for your visa application fees
2. The NVC will collect your visa application and any supporting documentation
3. The NVC will hold your visa petition until an interview is scheduled with a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General abroad
If, however, your priority date does not meet the most recent Qualifying Date, the National Visa Center will instead notify you of the discrepancy and then hold your petition until your Priority Date appropriately corresponds with the most recent Qualifying Date.
At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, we are committed to helping individuals with immigration issues whether they are currently residing in the United States or they are still abroad. The legal attention that we devote to matters of immigration law reflects our dedication to the millions of individuals both at home and abroad who need support and guidance as they pursue an immigration matter of any nature.
Included in our legal team is a former U.S. judge and former immigration prosecutors, all of whom are prepared to help with your case. Whether you are seeking more information about the processing of a visa or your concerns require an appearance in court, we are here to offer our legal services. To take advantage of support that can be found at our office, contact a New York City immigration lawyer today at 646-461-6838.