National Visa Center (NVC) Immigrant Visa Backlog Report

Last updated May 2021

Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the Department of State’s ability to process immigrant visa applications.  U.S. embassies and consulates are working to resume routine visa services on a location-by-location basis as expeditiously as possible in a safe manner.  However, the pandemic continues to severely impact the number of visas our embassies and consulates abroad are able to process.  The particular constraints vary based on local conditions and restrictions, but include local and national lockdowns; travel restrictions; host country quarantine regulations; and measures taken by our embassies and consulates to contain the spread of COVID-19.   On Feb. 2, 2021,  President Biden issued Executive Order (E.O.) 14012 on Restoring Faith in our Legal Immigration Systems.  Though we continue to face real and persistent challenges in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to resolving the immigrant visa backlog and transparently sharing the current status of our worldwide visa operations, while remaining dedicated to the safety of our staff and applicants, and the national security of the United States.

Number of IV applicants whose cases are documentarily complete at NVC and ready for interview as of April 30 504,541
Number of documentarily complete IV applicants scheduled for May 2021 interview appointments 22,576
Number of eligible IV applicants still pending the scheduling of an interview after May 2021 appointment scheduling was completed 481,965

Note: In Calendar Year 2019 on average, 60,866 applicants were pending the scheduling of an interview each month.

This data is a snapshot in time provided for informational purposes in order to be as transparent as possible.  Given that these numbers change on a regular basis through our ongoing effort to reduce the backlog, they will be outdated soon after they are published each month.  

In addition, this data is specific to cases that have been processed by NVC and determined to be “documentarily complete.”  It does not reflect IV cases that have already been transferred to an embassy or consulate for interview, cases that are still with USCIS for petition approval, or cases that are not considered documentarily complete.  For more information about when an application is considered documentarily complete, see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/step-8-scan-collected-documents/step-9-upload-and-submit-scanned-documents.html

For a step-by-step breakdown of the Immigrant Visa Process, see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/step-1-submit-a-petition.html

Reminder: Applicants should be as prepared as possible for their interview by bringing all required documents with them.  Being fully prepared will not only speed up the interview, but also help the Department more efficiently reduce the number of those waiting for an interview appointment.