NVC Started a Pilot Program for I-130 Petitions for beneficiaries in Santiago, Chile in September, 2008. See http://www.ilw.com/articles/2008,1021-karpinski.shtm for more background info. Come forward to May, 2009, and Guangzhou (GUZ ) was added. Montreal was added in June, 2009. For NVC Specific Info - see http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_5163.html
Guangzhou petitions , when using this program, benefit by having 60 to 120 days 'shaved off' the waiting time - so far, this year, it appears that when NVC is complete, GUZ opens the casefile within 7 business days, and get an appointment scheduled within 30 days.
Any form that required a BARCODE for paper processing - you do not need a barcode for electronic processing.
How to OPT IN
First, call NVC to get your NVC casenumber. If you don't have one yet, call back daily until one is issued. This will be the PAPERCASE CaseNumber (see SpeedBumps, below).
For China/GUZ applicants: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OPTIN PRIOR TO RECEIVING THE DS-3032 EMAIL FROM NVC. DOING SO WILL CAUSE A SEVERE DELAY.
You must send an email to a special NVC/GUZ/MTL address, with the DS-3032 (PDF version, SIGNED by hand & rescanned), with the pertinent info in the body of the email. See http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_4410.html
02-25-2010 - Change of email address -
is now - NVCElectronic@state.gov
for all NVC Electronic Processing, regardless
of Guangzhou or Montreal
Subject Line: OPTIN XXX2009123123
Petitioner's Email Address: JoeBob@yahoo.com
Beneficiary's Email Address: SallyMae@yahoo.com
Petitioner's name: JoeBob Jones
Beneficiary's name: Sally Mae Vo
Petitioner's Date of Birth: 01/12/1959
Beneficiary's Date of Birth: 04/11/1962
[Optional]Attorney of Record's name and address
Speedbumps on OPTING IN and Converting from Paper to Electronic
If you are trying to OPT IN - then the DS-3032 has to be signed by the foreign spouse, and sent to NVCElectronic@state.gov from foreign spouse's email, along with the biodata in the body of the email, AND (GASP ) the PROPER SUBJECT LINE. There's an email scanning system in place at that email address - so if 'OPTIN' is NOT in the first 5 characters of the subject line, a human will catch it 5 or 10 days later.
Then ya wait. Bug NVC about 7 to 10 business days later, via telephone, about shifting to NVC Electronic Processing. The NVC Tele-Operators are brain-dead - trained to listen for 'DS-3032' and know NOTHING about the electronic processing system (but they are totally coachable, if you know what to say to them ).
If you get any initial emails about paying stuff ONLINE, note it'll get paid on the old (i.e. GUZ) case number - but don't sweat it - the contractors at NVC will rehome the data / fees from the GUZ case to the newly created GZO case number.
If you call in to NVC, to get your GUZ case number, the Tele-Operators are trained (for paper processing ) to send you a DS-3032 kit. This kit consists of a non-fillable DS-3032 in PDF format, a fee bill for 70 bucks, and a barcode thing. IT'S OK TO PAY THIS BILL ONLINE, but do not do anything with the DS-3032 that you receive. It's the wrong one.
Files List for Electronic Processing
Forms Requiring Signatures
Digital scans of supplemental stuff
- Birth Certificate (PRC)
- Court and Prison Records (PRC)
- Deportation Documentation (PRC)
- Marriage Certificate (PRC)
- Marriage Termination Documentation (PRC)
- Military Records (PRC)
- Photocopy of Valid Passport Biographic Data Page (PRC)
- Police Certificate(s)(PRC)
- Custody Documentation (PRC)
- GUZ IV I-130 Supplemental Packet 3, available at http://travel.state.gov/pdf/pk3_supplements/GUZ-SUP-MULT-0004-0904.pdf
- Petitioner Documents , which usually consist of:
Official Divorce Documents, if any - the entire decree, not just the 2 page notice. The stamp must be visible.
- Tax Returns for last 3 years - or tax transcripts.. If you need schedules or additional forms, scan those in as well. If you used a tax service or software, you might already have the pdf versions of the 1040s and all other forms.
- W-2's for 2008 ( 2009 filing )
- letter of employment on company letterhead, signed by HR dept or owner. If self-employed, 8 quarters of audited balance sheets provided and certified by your CPA.
- Supplemental I-864 documentation, if using assets - this could be bank statements, a lettter from bank on bank letterhead, account information for various account types, house appraisal notice signed by certified appraiser.
Passport style Photographs
This is a bit troublesome, but go ahead and send them. Suggest you open ONE in IRFANView, then print to PDF file. Then make different-named copies of the file, send in 2 files. I know it's weird, but since it's a requirement for paper filing, send it in .
This will be a growing list as I learn more.
I know I need to reform the list, to align 'stuff' with major forms (I-864, DS-230, etc) .
PRC = PRC or CDN Person, yer spouse. Her Docs are USUALLY Translated into English by the local Notarial Office. USC = USC Person, usually YOU.
Email from NVC
Successful Enrollment GUZ
The National Visa Center (NVC) received yourcorrespondence.
This case is now enrolled in the Electronic Processing Program.
The additional email addresses submitted with the enrollment email were added to our records.
Please note that all forms and documents that we request and require in the future must be scanned copies of the originals. The applicant must present all original forms and documents to the consular officer at their visa interview. Failure to present the required originals at the visa interview will result in a denial or delay in obtaining a visa for the sponsored applicant.
This correspondence is also to notify you that the principal applicant's case number was changed. The new case number starts with GZO (instead of GUZ) and is followed by a new set of ten numbers.This change was made to identify the case for both the NVC and the U.S.Consulate General in Guangzhou, China as participating in the Optional Electronic Processing Program.
Please refer to the case number given below in all future correspondence with the NVC and the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou.
We received the principal applicant's DS-3032(Choice of Address and Agent) form designating an address and agent. Instructions for paying the immigrant visa application processing fee and all future correspondence will be sent to the agent at the address selected on the DS-3032.
For more information regarding the immigrant visaapplication fee or for answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the following website:
IMPORTANT: Do not let more than one year pass without contacting the NVC concerning this visa petition. If a period of one year passes from the last date of contact (by telephone, mail, or e-mail) with the NVC, all submitted fees and documents expire. If this occurs, the fees must be paid again and documents must be resubmitted in order to continue the immigration process.
As this case is processing electronically, allforms and documents must be sent via email as scanned attachments to "NVCElectronic@state.gov" Sending physical documents to the NVC will delay the processing of your case.
Case Number: GZO Petitioner's Name: Principal Applicant's Name: Preference Category: IR5 Your Priority Date: Foreign State Chargeability: CHINA - MAINLAND
U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL,VISA SCN. 5TH FL. TIAN YU GARDEN(II PHASE) 136-142 LIN HE ZONG ROAD TIAN HE DISTRICT,GUANGZHOU, CHINA
National Visa Center Written Inquiry Unit Serco Inc, Support Contractor
Successful Enrollment - Montreal
Thank you for your interest in processing your case electronically with the National Visa Center (NVC).
Your case has been updated with the email address you have provided to us.
All further communication with NVC will now be done through this email address NVCMontreal@state.gov.
All documents and forms that we request and require from you should be scanned copies of the originals. The applicant must present all original forms and documents to the Consular officer at the visa interview. Failure to present the required originals at the visa interview will result in a denial or delay in obtaining a visa for the sponsored applicant.
Any questions regarding your petition should now be directed to NVCMontreal@state.gov.
The Affidavit of Support instructions were downloaded on 8 October 2009. Once you have gathered all of the information and completed the necessary form, please scan the documents and email them to us.
NVC Document Review Team
National Visa Center
Serco Inc., Support Contractor
Experimental Process Flow
The processing steps mirror the paper process, but I'm labelling this as 'experimental' as I've not really explored all of the parameters and nuances - I've only studied ONE VJ member's process, and his process worked. This process will NOT work unless you receive a DS-3032 kit via email from NVC. The DS-3032 kit consists of a non-fillable pdf version of the DS-3032, a payment notice for AOS (I-864 related ) and some barcode info.
With the payment notice, you can register ONLINE for electronic payments at the NVC payment portal. The payment portal is important in this process, as it shows what bills need to be paid, status of payment, and you can generate coversheets and payment receipts from it. Coversheets and Payment Receipts are IMPORTANT!
For Montreal Filers: The OPTING IN 'status' will not matter - as you can send this stuff in prior to the DS-3032 being actually accepted - currently this is a 2 to 3 week 'wait' once the OPTIN email is sent. As long as you have the first fee bill from the DS-3032 kit, I suggest you go forth with payment and payment portal registration.
For Guangzhou Filers: The OPTING IN 'status' will matter - Do not send in this stuff until you have successfully OPTED IN. You can pay without conversion - currently this is a 2 to 3 week 'wait' once the OPTIN email is sent. As long as you have the first fee bill from the DS-3032 kit, I suggest you go forth with payment and payment portal registration.
What really drives this process is the PAYMENT status - so logging in to the payment portal 2 or 3 times each day is going to be useful. The payment statuses are batch updated at 3PM and 10 PM each day.
DO NOT WAIT to/for:
- receive email from NVC
- NVC to send you forms (with the exception of the DS-3032 kit )
NVC to send you any email about steps.
This process must be PUSHED by you, with no 'waiting' except on payment portal status.
- Call NVC, get GUZ #, give email addresses of petitioner and beneficiary. NVC preps a 'DS-3032 kit', emails it to you.
- Get the DS-3032 kit via email. (non-fillable DS-3032 pdf file, barcode info, and the AOS Bill link )
- Send in the RIGHT DS-3032 to optin.
- Pay the AOS bill online (70 bucks) and wait.
- Register to view the new invoices/payment receipts
- When the AOS bill shows 'paid' - send in the I-864 with the Coversheet and AOS receipt printed to pdf file.
- When the IV bill shows up online to be paid - pay it, and wait.
- When IV bill shows as 'paid' - send in the ds-230 with the IV Coversheet, IV receipt printed to pdf file.
- When payment login ID no longer works, 'NVC Case Complete' - call NVC to verify
IF you not have GZO number whilst in the payment process, DO NOT SEND IN the documents/forms via email. WAIT on sending until you have a GZO number.
- Montreal Filers - your case number does not change.
- Guangzhou Filers - your case number will change. If you cannot log in to the payment portal using the GUZ case number, try again with the GZO casenumber.
- Guangzhou filers - DO NOT SEND IN the I-864 or DS-230 UNTIL you have the GZO casenumber. Once you have the GZO #, log in again at the portal, print the coversheets and receipts, and bundle them up with the proper set. There MIGHT still be a GUZ # in the receipt, and thats OK.
- Guangzhou Filers - YOU CAN SLIP IN more relationship evidence (read the I-130 instructions, la) when you submit the DS-230 - it's OK - it's allowed, no worries there - so - if you haven't YET submitted yer relationship evidence - DS-230 submittal time is the last possible moment you have - to ensure an VO in GUZ reviews it prior to interview day.
Although it's great to have fillable forms, saving the data for subsequent email is sometimes hit or miss. It depends on what software you are using. Also, if you are waiting on scans from your spouse, she may not be able to get them into PDF format on her side (so a conversion process is useful ).
Creating a Document to Email to your Spouse
- Install CutePdf on your computer
- Open the PDF file in either Adobe Acrobat Reader or FoxIt
- Fill out the Form
- Print to PDF, selecting CutePDF as the Output Printer.
- Email the new PDF file to your spouse, along with the OPT IN instructions, above.
- She prints it out, signs it, converts it to PDF format, and emails it to NVC for OPT IN
- Install CutePdf on your computer
- Open the PDF file in either Adobe Acrobat Reader or FoxIt
- Fill out the Form
- Print to PDF, selecting CutePDF as the Output Printer.
- Email the new PDF file to your spouse.
- She prints it out, signs it, scans it back in, converts to PDF and emails it it to NVC. Beneficiary is allowed to email the DS-230. But - I suggest she email it to you, as there are supporting documents and photos that need to be attached.
Creating a Document to Send to NVC
- [Optional] Convert scans from spouse into PDF output files using IrFanView and CutePDF.
- Set up the email to NVC, using the Special NVC Email Address, add the files as attachments.
- Suggestion - (NOT THE OPT IN EMAIL) for Subject Line - use [CaseNumber] [Name of thing you are sending]
File Format Conversions
Sometimes, is impossible to do anything with native PDF, as your scanner might not understand 'native pdf scanning' or that option isn't available. MOST SCANNING SOFTWARE handles Multi-page TIFF - so I suggest you use this type, at 300 dpi, color mode. The resulting scan-filesize will be huge, but you'll be trimming that down in a moment.
- Use IrFanView and open up the scan'd file.
- Print to PDF file, changing the output resolution to 200 dpi, using CutePdf.
Scanning Photos for DS-230
- Use 300 dpi, color mode.
- Follow Conversions step.
Junk to edit out later
So you gots an I-130 in play, it's made it's way into NVC, and you've been considering NVC electronic processing.
MOSTLY, yer gonna have to play a hit-and-miss game with NVC, to get the casefile switched over to electronic processing.
Sure, there's an email address to use.
Sure, there's a phone number you can call, to request electronic processing.
But - you have to be pro-active.
Historically, NVC would NOT assign a Consulate Case Number (GUZ/GZO) without having a DS-3032 in their hands.
For the first few months of the the pilot program, it was enough to simply call. Now, it's not 'simply enough' .
What to do ? Here's my recommendations for OPT-IN :
1. call NVC, get a human, find out your GUZ case number.
2. prep your OPT IN Email - see http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_4410.html
2. get the PDF fillable version of the DS-3032 at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/80023.pdf
3. fill it out, print it, sign it, rescan it back in, convert to pdf , then email to NVCGuangzhou@state.gov
There's some confusion about signing the form, but since it has a signature block, I'm a fan of signing and re-scanning and converting to PDF.
There's a 'text email version' of a DS-3032 , viewable here at VJ, that a lot of folk (no no, not so many GUZ filers) have used in the past. Alas, that's not what I'm talking about.
There's a 'fillable PDF' version of the DS-3032 - and it's possible to EMAIL it, but... Your spouse must email it. So you need to prep this file (usually), and send it to her. Unless you have the right version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, anything you save to it will be lost.
There's another option, useful not ONLY for the DS-3032...... and that is - to PRINT the filled out form (in a PDF reader PGM) to YET ANOTHER PDF file.
What is this, you ask ?
You'll need to install, on your computer, a PDF print driver, that will capture any PRINTER OUTPUT to 'yet another' PDF file. I like CutePDF.
If you don't have scanning software that scans to PDF format, you have a workaround...
I don't use Adobe for anything - its bloatware on most of my systems, so I use Foxit, instead ( see http://www.foxitsoftware.com )
Now - the other forms, DS-230 and I-864, require signatures. The easiest way to 'get it done' is to fill out the 'fillable form', print it out, then rescan it with a scanner or Multi-Function Unit that can scan.
Scanning is tedious - especially if you don't know what you're doing.
Most Email packages have limitations to 'file attachments' - somewhere between 2 megabytes, 10 megabytes, and 50 megabytes. That Inbox at NVC can handle about 30 megabytes per email - so you need to plan ahead a bit....
First - when scanning - each scanning software package has OPTIONS for 'type of scan' , 'resolution', and 'depth'. If you're lucky, you have an option to scan directly INTO PDF format, multi-page, at a lower resolution (75 to 100 dpi)
If it's a signature'd form - I suggest that you scan it in as a B/W photograph, at 150 DPI, with a depth of 2 (a depth of 2 is totally binary, 0 or 1, no gradients at all... who needs gradients on a form, after all? It's either black or white, not need that other stuff).
If it's evidence for the I-864 - scan it in around 100 DPI, as a photo, save as TIFF MULTI=PAGE initially. Once you have the TIFF file format, open it with IRFAN view, and then print it out with your PDF printer driver to a multi-page pdf file.
The I-864 is a 19 page document, but you will only need to handle pages 12-19 of the form- the first 11 pages are instructions.
The DS-230 is a 4 page document, requires signatures and chinese characters - see http://travel.state.gov/pdf/DS-0230.pdf for the download. Ideally, you've handled this form whilst you were in China - and your spouse has filled in the Chinese Characters section. If that's the case, simply SCAN it back in, email it to your personal email , save it for later.
If that's NOT the case - I suggest you fill out as much as possible, print it out, and then take the chinese portions (from another word document file, print it out, cut it out from the paper), use some glue stick and glue it in. Sign the form where YOU need to sign it. Scan it in again. Email it to your spouse , ask her to print it out, sign her name, and rescan it, then email it back to you.
'Original Documents' Otherwise known as 'White Books' - there are 3 main - 1. Police Report 2. Birth Certificate 3. Marriage Certificate 4. [Optional] Divorce Certificate Scan those in - I suggest multi-page TIFF unless your scanner software supports PDF output. If you use multi-page TIFF, convert to PDF using the steps above (see DS-3032 section ).
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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.