Immigrant petitions must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS after approving those petitions will transfer them to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
NVC will begin processing only after the priority dates of the applications meet the recent cut-off dates. Priority dates will be assigned to all the immigrant petitions and those dates can be found on the approval notices sent by USCIS.
There are no wait times for those who belong to the immediate relatives category and the NVC will start processing their applications soon after USCIS transfers their petitions. But the applications filed on behalf of people who belong to the other preference categories will be processed by the NVC only if their priority dates meet the recent cut-off date. NVC will start processing when their priority dates get closer to the cut-off dates. For information on the cut-off dates, applicants need to keep track of the visa bulletin that the U.S. Department of State publishes every month.
After receiving those petitions, NVC will invoice the applicants for their application filing fee. Followed by that, the agency will collect the visa applications and the supporting documents from them. NVC will forward the approved petitions to the U.S. embassies or consulates only after visa interviews are scheduled.
NVC will contact the applicants and the beneficiaries if the agency needs supporting documents. The cases of applicants who fail to submit the required documents and meet the medical requirements will be administratively refused. NVC will schedule immigrant visa interviews only for the applicants who meet all the requirements and who submit the required documents.
NVC will schedule the applicants for immigrant visa interviews once their priority dates become current. Until then, the NVC will retain immigrant petitions.