Processing an Immigrant Visa
THE NATIONAL VISA CENTER (NVC) IS WHERE YOU BEGIN
If you are the beneficiary of an approved I-130 immigrant visa, and you live in your home country, or if you are not allowed to adjust your status by filing an I-485 in the U.S for reasons to be discussed elsewhere, then your only option is to go through consular proceedings.
You can contact the NVC at any time about your case and will get your questions answered quickly. The staff is professional and responsive. Understand that the NVC’s job is to get your documents together, which are then forwarded to the U.S. embassy where your interview for a visa will occur. The NVC does not give visas. Here is the NVC’s contact information:
Address: 31 Rochester Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801-2915
Telephone number: (603) 334-0700
Whenever you contact the NVC, make sure you have the following information and include it in your emails to NVC:
Write the NVC case number and the principal beneficiary’s name in the subject line of every email you send to NVC
Name of the person submitting an inquiry
The NVC case number or the USCIS number on the I-130 approval notice
The Petitioning Green Card holder or U.S. citizen relative’s name and date of birth
The principal beneficiary’s name and date of birth
Name of the attorney as it shows on the G-28
Here are the steps the NVC will help you to complete in your consular process:
Collect the required fees
Collect the affidavit of support showing your relative can provide for you when you arrive in the U.S. They will also receive the visa application form, and all the documents supporting your application to make you a permanent resident of the U.S.
Keep in mind the goal of going through the consular process, and take the process seriously. Treat the process almost like the most important job you will ever have to interview for. The consular officer you meet at the embassy is charged with making a decision that will affect the rest of your life. This is a serious matter for you and, perhaps for your entire family. So, put some effort into preparing for the moment.
The NVC will forward your visa application, the petitioning family member’s affidavit of support and all the other records submitted, to the U.S. embassy in the country where you, the immigrant lives.
The NVC will send you a notice when the U.S. embassy schedules your visa interview. They will tell you the address of the embassy, the date and time of your interview, and what to take to the interview. Follow the NVC’s instructions. People who don’t work at the NVC, or practice immigration law may give you advice. Advice is nice, but you should follow the NVC’s instructions.
There are two (2) fees that must be paid either by you or on your behalf as the immigrant applying for a visa
One is the Affidavit of Support (I-864) fee. The second fee is the Immigrant Visa Application fee. The fees change periodically. The NVC will tell you how much you must pay to move forward. The NVC is pretty efficient with processing immigrant visas. But they can only start with the preference beneficiary applicant’s priority date (i.e., the original receipt date of the I-130 petition) is about a year from becoming current.
The NVC will send the fee invoice, first for the affidavit of support. Then the beneficiary will be asked to pick an agent. The agent is the person the NVC will communicate with, on behalf of the beneficiary. You, the beneficiary need an agent in the United States, so you can have contact with the NVC whenever necessary to move your visa application along.
Your agent must submit an appearance form (G-28), which confirms you have given the agent authority to communicate with the NVC on your behalf. If you do not keep in touch with the NVC at least once a year, your visa application may be terminated. Even if not terminated, you may have to pay all the fees again and restart the process all over.
If you, the beneficiary, have minor children, then your children are considered derivative immigrants, and they should ride along with you the principal immigrant into the United States. If that is the case, then seriously keep an eye on completing the NVC process before your children turn 21 years old, and be considered to have “aged out.” Pay all fees and complete the process quickly. But your 21 year old may be saved by the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), which will treat them as still under 21 years old, so long as you meet certain standards.
If you need more information, contact us at (860) 218-2122.