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  • National Visa Center

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    General Information

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.


    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    NVC Contact Information


    E-mail is the NVC’s preferred method of communication.



    In order to ensure a prompt response:

    • The Subject Line of the e-mail should be the relevant NVC Case Number.
    • Provide the applicant’s name and date of birth and the petitioner’s name and date of birth.
    • If you are an attorney, include the name of the law office requesting the information.
    • If the petition is employment-based, include the company/organizational name.
    • Reference only one case per e-mail.

    [See more e-mail guidelines below]


    (603) 334-0700


    Status of case information can only be provided by providing your NVC case number of CIS receipt number (USCIS NOA1 receipt number).

    Telephone operators are available to respond to more in-depth inquiries.


    Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM (EST). Best time to call is 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM and 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM (EST).


    (603) 334-0791



    National Visa Center ATTN: ACL 32 Rochester Avenue Portsmouth, NH 03801-2909 United States of America

    In Person: (NOT AVAILABLE)

    NVC is not open to walk in for public. Unfortunately, some people have traveled long distance to inquire about their case in person or submit paperwork, but they have been told to use above method for correspondence.


    NVC E-mail Guideline

    According to U.S. law, the National Visa Center is only permitted to discuss details of a visa case with authorized representatives and when provided with all of the following information:

    • NVC case number or CIS receipt number
    • Petitioner's name and date of birth
    • Beneficiary's name and date of birth
    • Your full name
    • If you are the legal representative, please include a copy of your signed G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative, showing that you are the legal representative as well as the following information:
    • NVC case number or CIS receipt number
    • Petitioner's name and date of birth
    • Attorney's law firm name
    • Attorney's law firm address
    • Your full name
    • If you are corresponding regarding an I-140 petition you must provide the following information:
    • NVC case number or CIS receipt number
    • Name of the petitioning company
    • Beneficiary's name and date of birth
    • Your full name


    Administrative Processing at NVC

    The NVC has a process of randomly pulling a certain, unknown number of "K" visa petitions for further administrative processing. It is unknown what exactly takes place during this process. As it is in AP post interview. It may be background/name checks and/or document verification. Some CSR's at NVC have said that they are "verifying documents". But the most common answer will be that "There is no timeframe for the process". There actually is a very predictable timeframe based on VJers experience that has been shared since December 2008. The average time that a case is held during this AP is around 50 days, give or take a day or so. You can call at least once a week to ask if your file has been released out of AP and forwarded to the consulate. Most petitioners that are pulled for random AP DO receive a standard letter from NVC stating that their file will be forwarded to the embassy "within a week", this is a standard letter which is mailed out whether one is in AP or not. If you find that your case has been held at NVC for longer than a week or so; it is advisable to call and ask directly if your file is in AP.


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    NOTE: The above information does not address the specific requirements for any given case and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

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