A petitioner may expedite an immigration case by submitting an Expedite Request to the National Visa Center (NVC) in times of need or hardship. But how long does NVC take to review an Expedite Request?
The NVC receives petitions from abroad sent by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You should be aware that USCIS evaluates each Request individually, so you must have a compelling argument supporting your Request.
This post will explain how you can submit an NVC Expedite Request and how long the process takes.
What Situations Call For NVC Expedite Requests?
You should have a good reason before submitting an NVC Expedite Request. If a visa is available for your relative’s category, the following are thought to be acceptable justifications for the Request:
- The petitioner suffers from a significant illness or medical condition (life or death medical emergency)
- Immediate humanitarian needs
- Beneficiary underwent severe trauma in their country of origin (i.e., a victim of a crime, sexual assault, etc.)
- Financial difficulty (financial hardship must be proven and documented)
- The beneficiary’s child has reached the age of 21 (sometimes called “aging out”).
- The National Visa Center’s delays
- Due to health issues, the petitioner needs the beneficiary to take care of them.
- The beneficiary is giving birth soon.
How To Request An NVC Expedited?
When a relative’s visa is available, and your situation qualifies, you can submit an Expedited Request. You can send a letter and supporting documents to the NVC at [email protected]
The letter must include documentation to prove the reason for filing an NVC Expedite Request. If a death medical emergency exists, you may present a letter or certification with the physician’s contact number or any applicable supporting documents.
You must include the following in the subject line of the Request:
- Petitioner’s name and date of birth
- Beneficiary’s name and date of birth
- Invoice ID number
There is no longer a phone number for the NVC to take calls requesting an expedited process. You should submit an Expedite request in writing and deliver it to the NVC immediately.
Timeline For NVC Expedite Request
Assuming you complete the Expedite Request standards, USCIS will reply to your Request within 30-45 days. Additional delays and backlogs may occur as a result of COVID.
Your case will proceed as usual if the Expedite Request is rejected and there are large backlogs. The case will be forwarded directly to the consulate for an interview if it is expedited without conditions.
If you expedite the request, the interview at the foreign embassy usually requires 2-4 weeks’ notice. If you don’t have all the necessary paperwork, it will result in more delay.
If the Expedite Request is approved with restrictions, you must pay the fees and complete the forms on the NVC website before sending the file to the consulate abroad.
When the Request is approved, the beneficiary often receives notification and instructions via email.
Checking Your NVC Status
The Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) case tracker lets you view your NVC status.
You can find the common statuses and their meanings below:
This status indicates that your file is still being handled at the National Visa Center, the embassy, or the consulate. You may call them at (603) 334-0700 if this status is not improving after a week.
This status indicates that your case has been sent to the American embassy or consulate. However, it does not imply that they have already received it.
This status means that the American Consulate or Embassy has your file and is ready to set up the interview.
Once your paperwork is ready, you must schedule your interview at the embassy, register for or schedule a medical exam, attend the appointment, and finish the interview.
What If A Visa Is Not Available Under My Relative’s Category?
Unfortunately, NVC cannot expedite the petition if an immigrant visa is unavailable immediately. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as modified, which regulates visa availability, governs immigrant visa procedure.
There is no immigration law allowing the Department of State to grant an immigrant visa to someone for whom one is not available. Thus, if the NVC Expedite Request is denied, the case will proceed as usual.
The NVC will notify you if they consider that you need to submit corrected papers. In non-expedited cases, you will typically receive the approval notice from USCIS before it arrives at the NVC.
Consult An Immigration Lawyer
Immigrant visa processing can take a long time. You can request expedited processing as long as you have a valid reason.
However, NVC Expedite Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Submitting an Expedite Request does not guarantee approval. These requests only apply for “life or death medical situations,” as indicated on the State Department’s website.
If you need help in filing an Expedite Request or need assistance with any immigration services, it is best to consult an immigration attorney.