When you complete a petition (I-130, I-140, etc.) for an immigrant visa, you send it to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security for approval. If USCIS approves the petition and you wish to process for a visa outside the United States, USCIS will send you a Notice of Approval (I-797) and send the petition to NVC. It often takes longer for the petition to arrive at NVC than for you to receive your Notice of Approval. Please refer to the NVC processing timeframes page for the most up to date processing times. Once we receive your petition from USCIS, we will give it a unique NVC case number and send you a letter notifying you that we have your petition and what to do next.
If a visa is available for your petition (or if the Department of State believes that one will be available in the next several months), NVC will send you, the beneficiary, a letter or email directing you to begin visa pre-processing with NVC. NVC will begin pre-processing your case by asking you to pay the appropriate fees in CEAC. After the appropriate fees are paid, you will be able to submit the necessary immigrant visa documents, including the Affidavit of Support (AOS), application forms, civil documents, and more.
If visas are not available for your visa category, NVC will notify you that NVC received your petition and will hold it until a visa becomes available.
For current fee amounts for Immigrant Visa Application Processing, Affidavit of Support Review, and Immigrant Visa Security Surcharge, see Fees for Visa Services.
When a visa is available for your petition (or if the Department of State believes that one will be available in the next several months), NVC will send you a letter asking what you plan to do. If you respond that you plan to adjust your status, NVC will hold your file until a USCIS office requests it.
Requests for adjustment of status are processed by USCIS not by NVC. You should contact the USCIS office nearest you for adjustment of status information.
If you are planning to adjust status with USCIS, do not submit any fee payments. Notify NVC of your intent to adjust status and contact the USCIS for further information.
If you filed a petition for your spouse and/or children when you were a lawful permanent resident (LPR) and you are now a U.S. citizen, the type of immigrant visa that your family members can receive will change. When you become a U.S. citizen, you must submit proof of citizenship to the National Visa Center (NVC) so they can update your family member’s visa category. Scan and save one of the below items as a PDF or JPG file. Then send it as an attachment to Public Inquiry Form:
Effect on spouses and minor children: If you filed a petition for your spouse or minor children (under age 21 and unmarried) while you were an LPR, the visa category was family second preference (F2A). When you become a U.S. citizen, NVC will upgrade the petition to an immediate relative (IR) visa category. This benefits your immigrating family member(s) because there are no limits on the number of visas that can be issued each year in the IR categories.
Effect on adult children: If you filed a petition for your unmarried adult children (age 21 or older) when you were an LPR, NVC will change the visa category from family second preference (F2B) to family first preference (F1). However, under a federal law called the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), visa applicants can “opt out” of conversion to the F1 visa category and remain an F2B visa applicant. This may be beneficial because sometimes the wait time for an F2B visa is shorter than the wait time for an F1 visa. When you naturalize and become a U.S. citizen, you should check the Visa Bulletin to see if it would be helpful for your adult unmarried child to remain in the F2B category. (Applicants keep the priority date of their F2B petition when it converts to the F1 visa category.) Applicants who want to opt-out of conversion to the F1 category must submit a request using these guidelines:
Please note that the process to apply for a visa does not differ between the F2B and F1 categories. Visa applicants still need to pay the required fees, complete a visa application, and submit the required civil and financial documents. The only difference is in when their priority date becomes “current,” which is what allows a consular officer to adjudicate and issue an immigrant visa.
If a visa is available for your relative’s category, and their case involves a life or death medical emergency, processing of your case may be expedited. To request a review for expedite, please submit a scanned letter (or statement) to NVCExpedite@state.gov from a physician (or medical facility). The letter must include the physician’s (or medical facility’s) contact information, and declare a life or death medical emergency exists.
Please make sure to include your case or receipt number on the subject line along with at least one of the of the following:
If a visa is not available, unfortunately there is nothing that NVC can do to expedite the petition. Immigrant visa processing is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, which controls availability of visas. There is no provision within the law that would allow the Department of State to issue a visa to someone for whom a visa is unavailable.
No, NVC cannot change a visa decision. You should contact the U.S. consular office where the visa case was processed.
You should contact the Immigrant Visa Unit of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that issued your visa. You do not need to file a new petition with USCIS, but you may need to submit a new application (DS-260) and pay another immigrant visa application processing fee. In addition, you may need to submit new supporting documents, such as a new medical examination and police certificate. Please be prepared to return your unused, expired visa and visa package (if applicable). Requests to reissue or replace visas are considered on a case-by-case basis, and all applicants are required to re-establish their eligibility; there is no guarantee that you will receive a new visa.
Please provide your new address using our Public Inquiry Form. Don’t forget to let NVC know if your phone number or e-mail address change, too.
If you no longer want to be represented by your attorney, you must contact NVC in writing using our Public Inquiry Form.
If you wish to hire an attorney, please submit a signed form G-28 Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative to the National Visa Center (NVC) using our Public Inquiry Form.
To withdraw a petition, you must submit a signed written statement requesting that the petition be withdrawn and explaining the reason to NVC using our Public Inquiry Form. If an attorney or accredited representative submits the request, a G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative, must accompany the request.
If you would like to transfer your Immigrant Visa (IV) case to another embassy or consulate, please follow the steps below:
If your case is at a U.S. embassy or consulate, contact the potential gaining U.S. embassy or consulate in writing to request a transfer of your case. Please include a justification for the request. If you are not a resident of that country, specify that in your request.
If your petition is being processed at the National Visa Center (NVC), contact the NVC to request the transfer. NVC will transfer cases to another IV processing post if parties provide a written request along with the address in the requested country and the proof of eligibility (citizenship/legal residency in the requested country or other documentation). This can be provided at https://nvc.state.gov/inquiry. In limited circumstances, NVC may need to contact you for additional eligibility requirements. Note that transferring your case might not result in immediate processing as cases are processed in order based on the date the case became documentarily qualified.
If you are requesting a transfer for a K Visa, the receiving Embassy or Consulate has the discretion to approve or deny the acceptance of a K visa application from an applicant outside the consular district. Contact the potential gaining U.S. embassy or consulate in writing to request a transfer of your case and include the reason for the transfer request. If you paid the MRV fee at the original post and the transfer request to a new post is subsequently approved, a new visa fee will be required.