National Visa Center Delays
Recently, due to a surge in immigrant visa petitions approved by the USCIS, the National Visa Center is experiencing a significant backlog. The NVC has issued notices to applicants advising that it is experiencing increased review times for documents received and thus expects delays of at least sixty days from the date NVC receives the documents. The NVC, located in Portsmouth, NH, conducts pre-processing of immigrant visa petitions that have been approved and forwarded by USCIS. Once the priority date of a visa petition becomes current, the NVC notifies the applicant and requests the relevant fees and supporting documentation. If a priority date is not current, the NVC will hold the petition until it becomes current.
What this means in practical terms is that most immigrant visa cases will experience significant delays in processing. Affidavits of support or responses sent to address deficiencies noted in any checklists from NVC will not be able to reviewed and evaluated right away. Unfortunately, this technical problem already aggravates situations where documents are not properly reviewed and where checklists are unnecessarily issued. For example, it is not uncommon for NVC to request Joint Sponsors or additional financial documentation to support an Affidavit of Support when it may not be warranted.
The recent backlog is no doubt frustrating to many, especially in light of the fact that many immigrant petitions sit for years waiting for visa availability. NVC reports that it is working diligently to reduce processing times, but based on similar occurrences in application delays from previous years, any fundamental change in processing procedure is unlikely to happen.
We at Buda Law Group have many client that are affected by the NVC delays. It has been a painful time for us and our clients. Even though the NVC says it is working to remedy the problems, we don’t’ see progress. In fact, we see further delays, outright mistakes on applications, and misinformation given by NVC workers who apparently are new on the job. It can be further frustrating to wait months on an application, then see a mistake by an officer, or unnecessary scrutiny on an application which is obviously ready for interview.
If you have any questions, please contact the team here at Buda Law Group and get a free consultation regarding any of your immigration needs.
John B. Buda, Esq.www.budalawgroup.net office: 310-452-1872 [email protected] 3301 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 205 Santa Monica, CA 90405