Integrity Legal

29th Oct 2009

The National Visa Center (NVC) acts as s sort of clearinghouse and intermediary for United States visa applications. Their duties as an intermediary can be shown in the way the NVC receives cases from the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and forwards them on to United States Embassies and Consulates abroad. This function has been documented in detail in previous posts on this blog. However, NVC functions very differently in cases involving Immigrant visas (CR1, IR1) then it does in cases involving the non-immigrant dual intent family visa categories, most notably the K1 visa and the K3 visa.

A K1 visa application or K3 visa application spends a relatively short period of time in the possession of the NVC. In Immigrant visa cases, this is not true. Applications for a CR1 visa or an application submitted for an IR1 visa are held at NVC for a substantially longer period of time. Unlike the K1 and K3 visa categories, packet 3 is sent out by the NVC and not the US Embassy abroad.

The United States Immigration authorities at the American States Department have made the administrative decision to handle all packet three matters at NVC rather than making the Consulates and Embassies handle this aspect of the process. In a way, the decision makes sense as the NVC is in a better position to specialize in this phase of the process. Also, NVC conducts a rather detailed security clearance to make certain that the prospective immigrant is not a threat to National security. Also, NVC will take the affidavit of support fee and process the United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident’s I-864 Affidavit of Support.

It should be noted that in cases where the petitioner is resident abroad, it may be possible to submit a Direct Consular Filing (DCF) or a USCIS local filing. In cases such as this, the case file will not be sent to the NVC, but will either be processed entirely at the Embassy or Consulate; or it will be sent from the local USCIS office directly to the US Embassy. In the case of Thailand, the Bangkok office of USCIS will send all approved locally filed Immigrant visa applications directly to the US Embassy in Bangkok. As the USCIS office is directly across the street from the US Embassy, sending this file directly to the Embassy is usually a very straightforward process.

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