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Visa Processing at the National Visa Center

Visa Processing at the National Visa Center

The approved petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire which will process the immigrant visa application.  On receipt, NVC will send the visa applicant a form letter notifying them of their priority date. If the petition is current or when it become current, the NVC will send the visa applicant the form DS-3032, Choice of Address and Agent Form and the petitioner an Affidavit of Support, Form I-184, processing fee bill.

What do you mean by the terminology "petition is current"?

Applicants registered for immigration in the family and employment based preference categories are subject to the annual numerical limitation on immigrants admitted into the United States and are required to wait for the availability of a visa number before final action can be taken on the application. Whenever there are more qualified applicants for a category than there are available numbers, the category will be considered oversubscribed and immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petition was filed.

It is not possible to begin the administrative processing of an application until the priority date, date on which the petition is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or in the case of an employment based petition supported by labor certification, date on which labor certification is approved, becomes current.

What is a DS-3032 and what do I do with it?

The DS-3032 may be used by the visa applicant to choose an "agent" to assist him or her in his/her application and to receive mailings from the NVC. The "agent" may be the one who filed the immigrant visa petition, an attorney, friend or non-governmental or community-based organization. He or she cannot sign documents for the visa applicant but can assist with fee payments and document collection. If the DS-3032 is not returned within one year, the NVC will begin terminating the case.

Am I required to nominate an agent?

There is no requirement that you nominate an agent. The NVC may send all correspondence directly to you if you so wish. You should complete the relevant section of the DS-3032 and return the form directly to the NVC.

When is a DS-3032 not required?

A DS-3032 is not required if

  • a G-28 is received from USCIS indicating that an attorney is the agent;
  • the visa applicant filed the petition on his or her behalf;
  • a child is being adopted.

Who completes the Affidavit of Support, Form I-864?

The petitioner, that is to say the U.S.citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident who filed the immigrant visa petition on behalf of the visa applicant. The petitioner must complete an I-864 if filing a petition on behalf of a spouse, parent, child, or sibling or if he or she filed an employment based petition or has a 5% or more ownership interest in the company which filed the immigrant visa petition. Further information is available from the Department of State's website The I-864 will not be sent to the petitioner until the NVC has received the Affidavit of Support processing fee.

What happens once the NVC has received the DS-3032?

On receipt of the DS-3032, the NVC will mail the "agent" or visa applicant instructions on the steps which must be taken to apply for the immigrant visa, including information on payment of the visa processing fee. The fee is paid to the NVC who will provide the applicant with detailed information on method of payment. On payment of the fees, the NVC will mail the agent or visa applicant information on the forms that must be completed and documents which must be furnished in support of the application.  

What happens next?

The applicant is required to return to NVC the visa application forms and documents specific to his or her application. On receipt, NVC will complete any additional processing that may be required and schedule the appointment for the visa interview. 

Approximately one month before your scheduled interview appointment with a consular officer, you will receive an appointment letter containing the date and time of your visa interview. 

On the day of the visa interview, you will be required to bring your passport, three passport photographs and any documents, plus one photocopy, applicable to your application that were not sent to the National Visa Center.  Click on "The Interview"for further information.

Note:  Prior to attending the Embassy for an interview you are required to schedule an attend an appoinment for a medial examination with the Embassy approved physician.  Click on "Medical Examination" for further information.


Instructions for Applicants

  • National Visa Center
    32 Rochester Avenue
    New Hampshire 03801-2909

    Contact Information

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    The NVC processes the the visa application and collects all relevant documents for all immediate relative applicants applying for an immigrant visa at the Embassy in London.  Please follow this link for further informationWarning: Do not take any action described without authorization from the NVC.

    Reminder: Do not download and send in any forms to the NVC until you have received official notification from them that they are ready to proceed with your application. Forms received before they officially notify you that they are ready to process your case will be discarded.

     Frequently Asked Questions concerning visa processing at the NVC

  • How long will the application take to process?