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The Immigrant Visa Process

Begin National Visa Center Processing

Translation - Español (.pdf)

Welcome to the next stages of the immigrant visa process with the National Visa Center (NVC). You have come to this webpage because you received a letter or email from the NVC directing you here after the NVC received your approved petition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

At this time, you need to determine:

  1. Email communication options
  2. Your point of contact for all correspondence from the NVC concerning your case

Important Notice

If you plan to apply for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver you must submit proof of payment of your IV application fee with your provisional waiver Form I-601A application to USCIS. After you pay the IV application fee online, you can print your payment confirmation from the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). Visit the webpage, Provisional Waiver–NVC FAQs for more information. A Spanish translation is available here. USCIS will notify the NVC that you have applied for a provisional unlawful presence waiver.

Use Email Communication

The immigrant visa application process requires several exchanges of correspondence between the NVC and the parties to each petition. The NVC strongly recommends email as the quickest, most reliable, and most secure way to communicate, following the instructions below.

How to Enroll Your Case for Email

To establish email communication, an applicant, agent, or petitioner must enroll the case by sending an email to nvcinquiry@state.gov.

When composing the email, include:

  • For any petition: all email addresses which will receive electronic correspondence.
  • For family-based petitions: the applicant's full name, email address, and date of birth; the petitioner's full name, email address, and date of birth; and the name, email address, and postal address of the attorney of record, if applicable.
  • For employment-based petitions: the name and address of the sponsoring employer.

The NVC will then stop sending paper letters and instead send email messages to the email address from which the message came and every other email address included in the message.

Contact for All Correspondence from the NVC

As the applicant, you may choose to have all correspondence sent to you.  Alternatively, you may register your petitioner, a family member or friend, an attorney or other immigrant assistance professional, or anyone else you trust to receive your correspondence from the NVC. The NVC strongly recommends that you register someone with email capability or a postal mail address in the United States because postal service can be unreliable in some parts of the world.  As email is the preferred method of communication, if you provide an email address for your agent of choice, all future correspondence will be sent by email and not letter mail.

You must notify the NVC of your choice of agent by completing Form DS-261, Online Choice of Address and Agent. 

Adjustment of Status

If you are physically present in the United States and will apply for adjustment of status with USCIS, then your case will not be processed by the NVC. (You will not apply for an immigrant visa.) Do not pay any fees or submit any forms to the NVC. Notify the NVC by email or mail as soon as you decide to pursue adjustment of status.

Who's Involved

National Visa Center: After petition approval, the National Visa Center (NVC) handles processing for certain kinds of documents, sending them onward to U.S. Embassies & Consulates. When and how to Contact NVC

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS oversees immigration to the United States and approves (or denies) immigrant petitions, and more. Learn about USCIS.

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