On approval of your petition at the USCIS, you will receive an email or confirmation letter from NVC. The next step follows pre-processing of the visa with NVC. The detailed explanation of each of the steps to be followed has been given below:
1) Selection of an Agent
The most crucial step, to begin with, is to select an agent to receive the communication related to your application from the NVC. An agent may be an attorney, your petitioner, a close friend, immigration specialist, member of your family, or you yourself.
U.S. Department of State has a Consular Electronic Application Center. You need to complete the Choice of Address and Agent by filling up DS-261. Click on this link to choose your agent.
2) Pay Processing Fees
There are two types of processing fees which you need to bear. One is the Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee and the other is the Affidavit of Support fee. The requirement for making payments is you need to have a checking account or savings account number from a U.S. bank and a bank routing number. Also while making payment; you will need to enter Invoice ID number and NVC Case number. Click on this link to make payment.
Those who wish to make an offline payment may draw a cashier’s check or money order from a U.S. bank which is payable to U.S. Department of State. The NVC case number must be mentioned on the memo line of the check or money order. The money order or check must be sent to the address below:
NVC Fee Processing Center
P.O. Box 790136
St. Louis, MO 63179-0136
3) Submission of Visa Application Form
On payment of fees, the form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) is to be filled in the Consular Electronic Application Center.
View the sample form here. Kindly note that for filling up DS-260, you will require NVC case number, Invoice ID number from NVC welcome letter, and Beneficiary ID number.
Once the form has been submitted, make sure you print the confirmation page as you need to carry it at the time of your interview.
4) Collection of Financial Documents
This step involves collecting financial documents. The documents include an affidavit of support form and financial evidence. An affidavit is a document which is between the petitioner and the immigrant visa applicant. This document is to establish that the petitioner has enough funds to support the applicant(s), if necessary. To know more about Affidavit of support, click here.
In addition to the Affidavit of Support, certain financial documents may be requested by the consular officer at the time of the interview. The evidences include the transcripts of IRS taxes filed, evidence of income, proof of relationship, proof of domicile, proof of U.S. status, Social Security Administration Earnings Statement, and proof of assets. For more information on financial documents, click here.
5) Collection of Supporting Documents
After collecting the financial forms and evidence, the civil documents are collected in this step. Once you collect all the civil documents, the photocopy of each of the documents must be sent to NVC. Also, photocopies and originals (or certified copies) should be sent to U.S. consulate or embassy.
Those documents which are not written in English need to be translated. Each of the documents that are written in a foreign language must be translated into English and its translation must be attached to it. Thereafter, the translation must be signed by the translator who should also state that the translation is accurate and that he/she is competent to translate. For more details about the required civil documents, click here.
6) Submission of Collected Documents
The steps 4 and 5 mainly involve collecting financial and supporting documents. Once the documents have been collected, they must be submitted to the NVC in this phase. Make sure that you submit all the documents together in one package to avoid delay in processing.
In case your NVC case number begins with any of the prefixes: SAA, MEP, GZO, KDU, AMM, DMS, or AKD; you will need to scan and email all your documents (along with translations, if any) to firstname.lastname@example.org with your case number mentioned in the subject line of the email.
Note that the attachments must not exceed 5 megabytes and each email must contain no more than one case.
If your NVC case number is MTL (any immigrant visa category), GUZ (CR1, CR2, F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4, IR1, IR2, or IR5), or (BNS, FRN, HNK, RDJ, or SYD – visa category being either of IR1, IR2, IR5, CR1, or CR2); the documents can be sent via email or mail processing. However, make sure that you use only one method.
If none of the above cases applies to you, kindly mail all the documents together (in one package) to the address mentioned below:
National Visa Center
31 Rochester Ave. Suite 100
Portsmouth, NH 03801-2914
Note that it takes around 30 working days for NVC to review your forms and documents. Once your application has been checked for completeness and approved, the NVC along with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate schedules an appointment for your interview.
The interview appointment letter is sent to the sponsor or petitioner, attorney (if any), and you. This letter contains the details such as the date, time, and location of the interview. On scheduling the interview, the NVC forwards all the documents received from the applicant to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Once you get the letter of interview appointment, you must start preparing for the visa interview. Read more for FAQ’s.
Keep all the original forms and documents (translations, if any) handy. You will need them at the time of visa interview. In addition to this, you (family members, if any) need to take a thorough medical examination with authorized physicians. Those who are sponsored by their spouses need to learn about their rights in the United States by reading the Rights and Protections Pamphlet. This pamphlet will give you an insight into the rights such as domestic violence, sexual assault, protection extended to you, or child abuse. Also make sure that you are well-versed with the interview instructions at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.