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The National Visa Center (NVC)

The National Visa Center processes the paper work for aliens approved for green cards who presently live outside the US.  When a sponsor files an I-130 green card petition for his relative who resides outside the US, or an employer files an I-140 petition for an employee who  lives outside the country, the file is referred to the NVC for processing after approval in the US. This process also applies to the K classification for fiances and spouses of citizens upon approval of the I-129F.

The NVC is located in Portsmouth, NH.  Upon approval of an I-130, I-129F or  I-140 green card petition for an alien who resides outside of the country, the NVC sends that alien a packet of information that contains forms, fees and a list of documents needed to process the alien’s application at a appropriate US consulate abroad.  The NVC will send this packet to the alien shortly before a visa number becomes available for that alien.  The visa bulletin contains visa availability information based on priority dates and preferences. Note that spouses and fiances of US citizens are not subject to the visa availability requirement.  Visas are immediately available for processing those petitions.

In cases where a visa number is currently available or soon becoming available, the NVC packet is sent as soon as processing is complete at the NVC.  After the alien completes the forms and returns them to the NVC along with the application fees and required documents, the material is forwarded to the consulate where the alien will apply and interview for a visa.  Thereafter, the alien will receive a letter requesting that he/she appear for an interview at the consulate on a particular day. The national visa center provides an automated hotline to check the status of approved applications pending at the NVC.