National Visa Center
The National Visa Center (NVC) was established in 1994 and is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The NVC is tasked with the job of processing all approved immigrant visa petitions after they have been received from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and holds onto them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad. Petitions may remain at the NVC anywhere from several weeks to several years for consular processing, depending on both the visa category and the visa applicant's country of birth.
Once an individual has filed her visa petition in the United States and it has been approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), the petition will be forwarded to the NVC in order to further complete the process. Along with the visa petition, the individual must also include any and all supporting documentation required by the NVC. These documents generally include civil documents and Affidavits of Support in conjunction with the proper financial documents, as well as any necessary fees required at this point.
Immigrant Visa Application Process
The first step in the immigrant visa application process is to establish communication and register an address and agent. At this point it is important that the applicant understands which forms are required of her at this time. In addition, there will be a required fee to be submitted in conjunction with the form's filing. At the initial stages of the immigrant visa application process, the main visa applicant must provide the NVC with a correct mailing address where correspondence related to the application may be sent. If the applicant has a valid email address, that should be provided along with the physical address.
The second step in the immigrant visa application process is to pay the necessary fees. At this stage, the NVC will notify the applicant by issuing her an invoice listing all the fees included in the application. Depending on the type of immigrant visa application, the NVC will also send the Affidavit of Support fee invoice to the applicant. Typically, if the applicant is represented by counsel, it is proper for the attorney to receive this documentation as well.
Next, some immigrant visa categories will require sponsors who agree to accept financial responsibility for the visa applicant. In this case, the sponsor must, at this time, submit the proper form showing that the sponsor legally assumes this financial responsibility.
Next, the applicant will be required to submit any additional supporting documents that have been required in association with the application. In addition, an interview with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate will typically be scheduled at this point.
Lastly, the interview will be conducted in order to determine whether the applicant should be issued a visa. If a visa is issued, the applicant will travel to a U.S. port of entry at which point her visa packet will be opened and reviewed by an officer from the Department of Homeland Security. The officer will have the final authority to grant the applicant admission into the United States.
Contact an Attorney
If you have questions about the immigrant visa process, contact the immigration professionals at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) today.