February 23rd, 2011 by Eleanor Gaskin
The US Department of State operates a visa-processing center known as National Visa Center or NVC, located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which is responsible for collection of fees and documentation for visa applications.
National Visa Center – How Does It Work
The National Visa Center arranges all the visa petitions in a chronological order following the filing date of the visa petition, which is known as the priority date. When an individual’s priority date matches the latest qualifying date, National Visa Center notifies and instructs the petitioner and the applicant to submit the fees for processing the application. The National Visa Center follows a preference category, which is displayed in the Visa Bulletin showing current month and year of visa petitions, published by US State Department.
Immigrant Visa Number
National Visa Center issues an Immigrant Visa Number, which indicates that you have obtained an immigrants visa and can apply for green card. Approval of immigrant visa petition does not ensure getting the immigration visa number immediately as the number of immigrants in US per year is restricted. Moreover, US law also restricts the number of immigrants from a particular country, so if you belong to a country with high demand for immigration into US, approval of your petition by USCIS as well as Immigrant Visa Number from NVC can get delayed. Preference relatives have to wait unlike immediate relatives like spouse, parents and single children below 21 years, who receive this number immediately, once their visa petition is approved.
Process of Applying for Immigrant Visa Number from the National Visa Center
There is no direct process of applying for an immigrant number. It is your employer or relative, who has to file a visa petition on your behalf to the USCIS, to become an immigrant and a green card holder. After the application is approved, USCIS sends it to the National Visa Center from where your petition has to wait for an immigrant visa number. It is the responsibility of National Visa Center to notify you when your immigrant visa number is available.
Contact Details of National Visa Center
Email – NVCINQUIRY@state.gov
Phone – (603) 334-0700. This number is available Mon-Fri from 7:30 AM to 12:00 AM (EST). A 24 x 7 recorded message system is also available to meet status inquiries.
Postal Address – Specific Queries must be sent to:
National Visa Center
31 Rochester Ave. Suite 200
Portsmouth, NH 03801-2915
Documents, forms and photographs must be sent to:
National Visa Center
31 Rochester Ave. Suite 100
Portsmouth, NH 03801-2914
The Visa Bulletin should be checked online to know the status of your immigrant visa number, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone – (202) 663-1541, by fax- (202) 647-3000. Here you have to catch on the prompts and enter the code 1038 to get the bulletin faxed to you. You can also write to -
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20522-0106
Getting a visa bulletin by mail is the slowest way among the afore-mentioned options.