Applying for and maintaining a visa in the U.S. can be a complicated process. It is important to know what identifying documents you need, along with either knowing enough English to fully understand the process or having a fluent interpreter with you. When applying for a visa, you will go through the National Visa Center. The purpose of this government facility is to process immigrant visa applications after they have been approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Check the Status of NVC Cases
When you filed your application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services you should have been given an immigrant visa case number. Using this receipt number, you can check the status of your NVC case online. When you go online to check your application status, you will be shown a field in which you can enter the 13-character Application Receipt Number. Do not enter the dashes when you are entering your Application Receipt Number. It is important to remember that you will have to enter all of the other characters in your number.
Interviews and the NVC
After you get your NVC case number you will have to appear in person before the consular section for an interview. After the NVC receives all the required documents, they typically schedule interviews within 60 to 90 days. The time frame starts from the time they send notice, not from when you send the documents.
Typically, the NVC confirms the receipt of documents by issuing 60-day letters within five business days of receiving your application. During this 60-day window, the NVC will let you know if any documents or identifying information are missing. This letter is usually issued within 90 days from when you received your information. Submit the missing documents to the NVC as soon as possible. If you miss documents, it shouldn’t take 60 days again to review your file. Files that are in process are typically given priority over ones that have not yet begun.
Civil Documents for NVC
Civil documents are legal identification forms, such as birth certificates, marriage or divorce licenses, prison records, military records and police records. All of these documents should be original copies or certified copies of the original in order to be processed through the NVC. If you have your originals, it is very important to get certified copies in case they are lost in processing.
If you are bringing minor children with you, you must have proof of custody either by a birth certificate, adoption or court records. As you are gathering information for your family, you also must have two current photographs of every individual. It’s important to ensure that these photographs are clear and forward-facing.
NVC Case Numbers for Immigrants
The case number for your immigrant visa is a 13-digit number comprised of four parts. The number displays as EEEYYYYOOOSSS. EEE is related to the U.S. embassy or consulate that will process your visa. For example, if you are arriving from New Delhi, the first three letters would be NWD. YYYY is the year that the case was received by the NVC. The calendar that the NVC runs is from January to December, not the fiscal year of October to September. OOO is the Julian date (ordinal date, plus 500), and SSS is the sequence number for the day.
If you or anyone in your group that is immigrating to the United States does not understand any part of the forms or needs them explained in their native language, be sure to ask for an interpreter. Interpretation services may also be privately acquired if you choose to do so.