The Immigrant Visa Process
After you have paid the necessary fees and have submitted the required immigrant visa application, Affidavit of Support, and supporting documents to the National Visa Center (NVC), they will review your file for completeness. Once your case becomes qualified for an interview, the NVC will work with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate to schedule an appointment for you.
An interview appointment letter is sent to you (the applicant), as well as your petitioner (sponsor), and your agent/attorney (if applicable) to notify you and them of the date, time, and location of the interview. There may be a wait of several months for an interview date to become available.
Supporting documents are sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Once your interview appointment is scheduled, NVC sends the immigrant visa petition, visa application, and all related forms and documents which were submitted to NVC to the appropriate U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
Important Next Steps
After receiving notification that an interview has been scheduled, it is important that you (and any family members applying to immigrate with you) prepare for the visa interview. Review Interview FAQs. Each visa applicant will need to complete a number of important next steps in advance of the interview date, including (not a complete list):
- Gather original forms and documents - You must bring the required original forms and documents to your immigrant visa interview.
- Schedule and complete a medical examination with the authorized physician(s).
Select Prepare for the Interview above to learn about these important next steps.
Important Applicant Notice
Based on U.S. law, not everyone who applies for a visa will be found eligible to come to the United States. There are a number of possible reasons why someone might not qualify for a visa. The circumstances of each case are different. Approved visas generally are not available on the day of interview.
It is important that you do not make arrangements, such as selling your house, car or property, resigning from your job or making non-refundable flight or other travel arrangements until you have received your immigrant visa.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates: Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, nearest your residence abroad, where you will apply and be interviewed for your U.S. visa.
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