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Everything You Need to Know About NVC Expedite Timeline

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If you’re applying for an immigrant visa, you will certainly encounter the National Visa Center (NVC), which is a part of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs. They handle the paperwork side of immigrant visa processing and get the bulk of NVC expedite request.

NVC's job is to help you get all the necessary paperwork in order so that when your visa application lands at a U.S. embassy abroad, you’re all set for the big immigration interview. They ensure you've got the minimum required documents properly filled out before the interview to avoid any delays in reuniting families in the U.S.

Their functions involve the following: 

  • collecting fees
  • reviewing all your forms and documents to support your application
  • setting up visa interviews overseas once you've sent in the needed paperwork
  • giving you the lowdown on immigrant visa interview instructions
  • packaging all the case files for the consular officers to have everything they need for the interview

But these things often take time. So in this article, we will dive deep into the NVC expedite request, particularly the following:

  • What an NVC expedite request is and its qualification criteria
  • The step-by-step process of submitting an expedite request
  • Practical tips for a successful request and commonly asked questions

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The Basics of NVC Expedite Requests

If you need to fast-track your immigration process, you can send an NVC expedite request to the National Visa Center. 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives the green light to your petition and ships it overseas to the NVC. They send you a Notice of Approval once the petition is approved and on its way to the NVC. 

Once the NVC gets a hold of your case, they log it into their system and give you a special NVC case number. You'll receive a welcome letter containing the case number, invoice ID, and all the next steps you must follow. 

But if you ask for an expedited case, it jumps straight to the U.S. Embassy abroad, skipping the usual NVC process. 

However, it's not a one-size-fits-all deal. USCIS decides this on a case-by-case basis, so having a strong reason for your request is key.

Some of the scenarios where you can request for your case to be speeded up and prioritized include:

  • The petitioner is facing a severe, life-threatening medical situation or emergency
  • Urgent humanitarian grounds
  • Beneficiary has undergone severe trauma in their home country, such as being a victim of a crime or experiencing sexual assault
  • Thoroughly documented financial hardship to prove existing or potential financial loss
  • Child beneficiary aging out or already approaching 21 years old
  • Delays caused by the National Visa Center
  • The petitioner needs the beneficiary to care for them due to health reasons
  • The beneficiary is expecting to give birth soon

How to Submit an NVC Expedite Request

Submitting an NVC expedite request is as simple as sending a letter. However, you need the proper documentation to support it.

Here’s a step-by-step guide.

  1. To request faster processing for medical emergencies, email a doctor's note to [email protected]. Make sure to include case numbers, names, and birthdays so they can identify the right case.
  2. Check out processing times for family green cards to understand the usual timeline.
  3. Add case numbers or IDs in the email subject line along with petitioner and beneficiary names and birthdays so they can quickly find the right case.
  4. You can also call the National Visa Center at (603) 334-0700 for immigrant visas or (603) 334-0888 for nonimmigrant visas. They're open 7 am-midnight Monday-Friday except holidays.
  5. If approved without conditions, NVC sends it to the Consulate abroad, who will contact the beneficiary to schedule an interview. Have documents ready!
  6. If approved with conditions, complete them before they go to the Consulate.

Average Timeline for NVC Expedite Requests

If they deny your expedite request, your case keeps going through the normal long backlogs.

But if approved, you usually get about 2-4 weeks’ notice before your interview at the consulate abroad. The NVC will email you with specific instructions on the next steps. Ensure you have all your documents and forms ready to go, or it'll get delayed.

You can monitor your NVC status using the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) case tracker.

Here are the common statuses and what they indicate:

  • At NVC: This status implies that your file is still in the process at the NVC and has not been dispatched to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. If you notice this status remains unchanged for over a week, contacting them might be a good idea. 
  • In Transit: This status means your case has been forwarded to the U.S. embassy or consulate, even if they haven't officially received it yet.
  • Ready: This status signals that the U.S. Consulate/Embassy has indeed received your file, and they're set to schedule the interview.

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What if Your NVC Expedite Request is Denied?

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If your expedite request gets turned down, you can submit a new request, possibly with fresh or extra details.

For instance, if your initial request was because you were recently adopted, but upon resubmitting, the adoption had surpassed the two-year mark, you could include more information explaining why your case still deserves a speedier process.

Remember, they review each request separately. Even if your first one didn't get the green light, your subsequent request might have a shot at approval.

There's no surefire guarantee that your expedite request will go through. Nevertheless, it's worth giving it another shot, especially if there are unnecessary delays in the processing.

Tips for a Successful NVC Expedite Request

To increase your chances of getting your expedite request approved, check out the following practical tips:

Make sure you write a formal letter.

Your phrasing and format play a big role in the letter’s effectiveness. Ensure a courteous opening and a respectful closing. Keep your paragraphs concise and clear to make them actionable.

Don’t skimp on the details.

Provide all the necessary and accurate details in the letter. Be specific about your request and the particular visa details. 

Send photocopies of your documents.

Don't forget to attach any required documents for cross-verification. Be sure to submit every page of the Affidavit of Support form, even if some pages are blank. 

Send all documents in a single package using the NVC-provided document cover sheet with a barcode. Sending multiple packages could cause delays in NVC's document review.

However, avoid sending original civil documents to NVC. Instead, provide photocopies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, or naturalization certificates. 

Save the originals for your visa interview.

Use sincere language.

Write your request with sincerity and respect. A well-composed and dignified letter has a better chance of being approved for a smooth NVC process.

Show your cooperation and compliance.

Acknowledge the lengthy process and formalities, and express your willingness to cooperate. Show that you're open to providing additional information to move the request forward.

Don’t forget your contact information.

Sign off with your accurate contact details to allow them to reach you easily for any further information or follow-up communication. This ensures seamless contact should the need arise for additional queries or updates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I've been waiting for my relative's immigrant visa, but now we're facing a family emergency, and I urgently need my relative to come to the U.S. Can NVC assist with this?

If your family member’s visa category has an available visa and there's a severe medical emergency, your case might be put on the fast track.

To ask for this, you can send a scanned letter or a statement from a doctor or medical facility to [email protected]. This note needs to explain the emergency in detail and include contact information for the physician or facility.

Don't forget to mention your case or receipt number in the subject line and some crucial details like the petitioner's or beneficiary's name, date of birth, and the Invoice ID number.

However, if there's no visa available, NVC can't speed up the petition. Visa processing follows the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, and if there's no visa available as per the law, the Department of State can't issue it.

My family member was interviewed for their immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy, but it was turned down. Can NVC take another look at the case?

NVC doesn’t have the authority to alter visa decisions. It's best to contact the U.S. consular office where the visa process took place.

I've relocated. How can I update my address with NVC?

To update your address, simply use NVC’s Public Inquiry Form. Also, don't forget to tell them if your phone number or email address changes.

How can I withdraw my case?

To cancel a petition, you'll need to send a signed written statement asking for the petition to be withdrawn and explaining why. You can do this by using NVC’s Public Inquiry Form. 

If the request is coming from a lawyer or an accredited representative, they'll need to include a G-28 or Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative along with the request.

Conclusion

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The National Visa Center is a crucial stage in the immigrant visa application process. Their responsibilities involve meticulously handling paperwork, reviewing expedite requests, and collaborating with consular officers to ensure visa applications are interview-ready. 

Expedite requests offer hope in urgent situations. Understanding the intricacies of NVC, from complex expedite processes to common visa statuses, helps you potentially speed up your journey in reuniting your family.

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