What is the National Visa Center (NVC)?
The U.S. Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) is a special office that assists with the issuance of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas at embassies and consulates throughout the world. It is a middle-man between USCIS and the U.S. Consulates when a permanent resident or U.S. citizen petitions an immigrant into the country who is currently not present in the United States or ineligible to adjust status in the United States.
USCIS notifies the NVC when they approve a petition. The NVC helps the immigrant and their family assemble any remaining applications or documents and then sends the (hopefully) completed application to the local consulate or embassy prior to the immigrant’s interview.
Marriage and Fiancé Visas Specifically
In the marriage and fiancé visa context, the NVC receives your K-1 fiancé visa application after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved your petition. In general, the NVC is responsible for:
- Collecting your approved visa petition
- Ensuring you have paid all fees and sent in all required documents
- Entering you data into their system
- Issuing you a case number
- Transferring your petition to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to where you live
The NVC will send you a letter once they have transferred your case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The letter will give you important instructions about the final steps of your fiancé visa petition. In the letter, the NVC will give you instructions on how to:
- Fill out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160)
- Schedule your interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate using your receipt number from the completed DS-160 form.
While the NVC may seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming step in obtaining your fiancé visa, it actually makes the process more efficient. Imagine if the USCIS, which is responsible for handling thousands of visa applications a year, was also responsible for sending your approved petition directly to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. There would be a longer waiting period and obtaining your fiancé visa would be a much longer process.
The National Visa Center, on the other hand, puts you one step closer to obtaining your fiancé visa and entering the United States to marry your fiancé.