The Na­tional Visa Cen­ter

The Freeman - - LIFESTYLE -

To­day’s col­umn will take a look at the Na­tional Visa Cen­ter (NVC) and how it in­ter­acts with the im­mi­gra­tion process most par­tic­u­larly for fam­ily based im­mi­grant pe­ti­tions.

In the Form I-130, Pe­ti­tion for Alien Rel­a­tive, there is a ques­tion that asks the Pe­ti­tioner if the Ben­e­fi­ciary will ap­ply for an im­mi­grant visa at a US con­sulate or in­side the US. If the Pe­ti­tioner in­di­cates that the Ben­e­fi­ciary will be ap­ply­ing at a con­sulate, the United States Ci­ti­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vices (USCIS), af­ter it ap­proves the I-130 pe­ti­tion and no­ti­fies the Pe­ti­tioner, will then send the ap­proved pe­ti­tion to the NVC. This is where the se­cond phase of the im­mi­grant pe­ti­tion hap­pens.

The NVC is the fed­eral agency that is tasked in ad­vis­ing the in­tend­ing im­mi­grant the whole process of con­sular pro­cess­ing, the fees to be paid, the doc­u­ments that need to be pre­pared, the time­li­ness of his pri­or­ity date and the sched­ul­ing of his ap­point­ment at the con­sulate. If the pri­or­ity date of the ben­e­fi­ciary, which we now call the ap­pli­cant, is cur­rent or whose case is not in the pref­er­ence sys­tem like those in the im­me­di­ate rel­a­tive cat­e­gory, which means that there is a visa avail­able, NVC will then sends a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to the pe­ti­tioner or to his at­tor­ney, ad­vis­ing the next steps, such as pay­ing the fees, etc. If there is no visa avail­able yet for the ap­pli­cant’s cat­e­gory, NVC will keep the ap­pli­cant’s file and will also ad­vise him what he should do and ex­pect un­til his pri­or­ity date be­comes cur­rent.

Once the ap­pli­ca­tion is ready for fur­ther pro­cess­ing, NVC as­signs a case num­ber. For Filipinos, this starts with let­ters MNL, fol­lowed by 10 num­bers. NVC sends in­struc­tions to the ap­pli­cant or his as­signed agent / at­tor­ney, an in­voice for im­mi­grant visa and af­fi­davit of sup­port fees. The fees are paid online from a check­ing or sav­ings ac­count held at a US fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion. You can pay at https://ceac.state.gov/ IV/Lo­gin.aspx . Please al­low a week or so for NVC to process the pay­ment and if it has al­ready done so, the ap­pli­cant must print a pay­ment re­ceipt and cover page for each fee paid. These two doc­u­ments are also needed to be re­turned to the NVC along with the other doc­u­men­ta­tion to be pro­vided later.

Us­ing the same web­site, the ap­pli­cant may pro­ceed to com­plete Form DS-260 or the Ap­pli­ca­tion for Im­mi­grant Visa and Alien Reg­is­tra­tion. He must en­sure that all en­tries are cor­rect and ac­cu­rate such as dates, spell­ing of names, ad­dresses, etc. Each ap­pli­cant and other in­tend­ing im­mi­grants (ac­com­pa­ny­ing spouse and chil­dren) must have sep­a­rate DS-260s. Af­ter the ap­pli­cant signed and sub­mit­ted the DS-260 elec­tron­i­cally, he must also print out the con­fir­ma­tion page. He needs this to at­tach with his other doc­u­men­ta­tion.

In the mean­time, the pe­ti­tioner would have to com­plete and sub­mit Form I-864, Af­fi­davit of Sup­port. Un­like DS-260 which is to be com­pleted online, I-864 has to be printed sep­a­rately, filled out and mailed to­gether with other sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion such as lat­est tax re­turns, W2s and other ev­i­dence of fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity.

There are also other doc­u­ments that need to be sub­mit­ted to the NVC. The ap­pli­cant must take a look at the checklist and its in­struc­tions that NVC pro­vided to him. Usu­ally these doc­u­ments are birth cer­tifi­cates, mar­riage cer­tifi­cates, death cer­tifi­cates which are all orig­i­nals and NSO cer­ti­fied; NBI clear­ance that is valid for at least one year; pass­port-style pho­to­graphs; pass­port bi­o­graphic page that shows va­lid­ity of the pass­port for at least six months; court cer­ti­fied con­vic­tion , an­nul­ment / adop­tion de­crees; and all other doc­u­ments that NVC re­quests.

Af­ter NVC re­ceives the Form I-864 and other sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion, it will then re­view the ap­pli­cant’s file and if he is con­sid­ered to be “doc­u­men­tar­ily qual­i­fied “, it will then send out an ap­point­ment let­ter to the ap­pli­cant con­tain­ing the date, time and lo­ca­tion of the visa in­ter­view. Fur­ther, it will also in­struct the ap­pli­cant for the med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion and other con­sulate spe­cific pro­ce­dures.

Once the ap­pli­ca­tion is for­warded to the US con­sulate, the ap­pli­ca­tion is now at the hands at the con­sular of­fi­cer. This be­gins the third phase of the im­mi­grant ap­pli­ca­tion.

‘Once the ap­pli­ca­tion is ready for fur­ther pro­cess­ing, NVC as­signs a case num­ber.

For Filipinos, this starts with let­ters MNL, fol­lowed

by 10 num­bers.’

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