NVC No Longer Collects Original Civil Documents

Prior to consular interviews, all immigrant visa applicants (principal and derivative beneficiaries) are required to submit civil documents (e.g., birth, divorce, marriage and police certificates) to the National Visa Center (NVC) for initial review. Once the NVC determines that the visa applicants are documentarily qualified, the consular interview will be scheduled.

As of November 12, 2014, the NVC no longer requires immigrant visa applicants at non-electronic processing posts to mail their original civil documents. Instead, immigrant applicants are instructed to mail photocopies of their civil documents to the NVC and bring the originals to their interviews. Petitioners must continue to submit their original signed Form I-864s (Affidavit of Support) and supporting financial evidence. Petitioners and beneficiaries should submit all civil and financial documents in one package and include the NVC Document Cover Sheet. Failure to submit all the required documents in one package usually results in delays. The NVC anticipates that this procedural change will reduce the processing time for visa applicants.

Immigrant visa applicants at electronic processing posts should continue to email their civil documents and their petitioners’ financial documents to the NVC. The mandatory electronic processing posts include Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (AKD); Amman, Jordan (AMM); Damascus, Syria (DMS); Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (MEP) and Sana'a, Yemen (SAA). The optional electronic processing posts include Montreal, Canada (MTL) and Guangzhou, China (GUZ). However, only cases with visa categories CR1, CR2, F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4, IR1, IR2 and IR5 are eligible for electronic processing in Guangzhou, China. MTL and GUZ visa applicants who choose electronic processing must first enroll by emailing the NVC at nvcelectronic@state.gov. GUZ visa applicants will be assigned new GZO case numbers whereas MTL applicants will retain their original case numbers. Please note that once MTL and GUZ visa applicants commit to a processing method, they cannot later switch to another processing method.

For electronic processing cases, documents should be scanned as PDF files and a separate file should be created for each document. Applicants should try to include all civil and financial documents in a single email, but the attachments should not exceed five megabytes (MB). If multiples emails must be sent, then the beneficiary’s civil documents should be grouped in one email and the petitioner’s financial documents should be grouped in another email.

For the NVC’s most current updates and procedures, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website at travel state.