IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase Summary
Finally, you made it to the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase. Congratulations. You made it to the Department of State, National Visa Center (NVC).
Things go a lot faster now in the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase. We hope you took our advice. For example, you got ready for the NVC stage during your long wait at USCIS. Are you ready?
The IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase consists of the following steps:
- Choose an Agent
- Pay Fees
- Submit Visa Application Form
- Collect Financial Documents
- Collect Supporting Documentation (We hope you started this a long time ago during the USCIS Phase.)
- Submit Financial and Supporting Documentation
- NVC Review of Documents
- NVC Issues a Case Complete, Request for Evidence (RFE) or Denial
Two weeks after you receive your NOA2 from USCIS, call NVC to see if they have your approved I-130.
NVC is located Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The telephone number is (603) 334-0700. Keep calling every few days until they confirm that they have the case. If they confirm that they have your case, ask for your case number.
Make sure NVC has a working e-mail address for you and your beneficiary. For his purpose, NVC is now able to e-mail you information and instructions. Otherwise, they send information via slower traditional mail As a result, you receive items more quickly. For example, items include NVC’s responses to submitted documents and notice of your visa interview appointment.
Get your case number from the operator. Your case number consists of three letters followed by ten numbers. For example, the three letters consist of the abbreviation for the foreign embassy. Likewise, the numbers consist of the year and then number of visa.
NVC sends you a welcome letter and email. This letter outlines the NVC process for your IR-1 or CR-1 Spousal Visa. However, the letter comes very late. Therefore, call NVC for information instead of waiting for the letter.
Also, the welcome letter contains your Visa Case Number and an Invoice ID number. Save these numbers because you need them in the NVC process. In addition, the welcome letter contains, as an attachment, a bar coded form serves as a cover sheet to send your financial and supporting documents to NVC.
Check Case Status
Sign up here for the U.S. Department of State, Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC), Visa Status Check. For example, use this to track your case. First, enter your visa case number. Then, your case status is shown.
If you have chosen to use Rapid Visa, they will assist you in navigating the NVC phase at no extra cost than your original fee.
Choose an Agent
The first step in the NVC process for an IR-1 or CR-1 Spousal Visa is to choose an agent.
The agent that is chosen receives communication from the NVC about your case. The beneficiary or petitioner can act. as the agent. Also, you may choose a family member, friend, attorney, immigration professional, or any other person you trust. In fact, most people chose the Petitioner as the agent. You may have an agent that represents you and the petitioner in the petition process with USCIS. However, you need to formally select an agent to represent you for your visa processing.
To choose your agent, complete the Choice of Address and Agent (DS-261) electronic form in the Consular Electronic Application Center.
It takes only a couple of days or up to 3 weeks for NVC to process your DS-261 before being allowed to continue to the next step.
After you have chosen your agent, pay your processing fees for the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase. There are two processing fees:
- Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee (IV Fee)
- Affidavit of Support Fee (AOS Fee)
The processing fees are paid online through the Immigrant Visa Invoice Payment Center. In order to pay these fees on-line, you need your bank routing number and checking or savings account number from a U.S. bank.
You need your NVC Case Number and Invoice ID Number located on the NVC Welcome Letter. Once you obtain this information, log into the Immigrant Visa Invoice Payment Center. After logging in, pay the fees. You cannot pay these two fees at the same time. In fact, the on-line system will make you to pay them one at a time. As a results, this takes a few days to do as the system will not let you pay the AOS fee until your check for the IV fee has cleared.
After submitting your payments online, wait up to 1 week. The wait is for NVC to process your fee payments before continuing to the next step. In fact, you are not able to access your Visa Application Form (Form DS-260) until NVC has processed your payments.
Visa Application Form
The next step in the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase is to complete the on-line Visa Application Form.
After the IV and AOS fees are paid, the online Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (Form DS-260) in the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) is completed. Click here for sample of the application to determine the information required and see how to fill out the electronic form.
The NVC Case Number, Beneficiary ID Number, and Invoice ID Number are listed in the NVC Welcome Letter. These are needed to access CEAC.
Your spouse needs a passport from his/her foreign country by this point. Specifically, the passport information is part of the information for Form DS-260. Therefore, make sure that you are working on obtaining the passport during the USCIS Phase.
The form asks many questions about the Petitioner and Beneficiary. For example, it asks for previous addresses, employment, family questions and questions related to any illegal activities.
Recommendation: The on-line for has a check box to automatically receive your Social Security card after you enter the U.S. We recommend that you do not check this box. The card arrives much faster if you go to your local Social Security office. Go to the local social security office after you get to the U.S..
Collect Financial Documents
After submit the visa application, financial documents need to be collected as part of the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase.
Actually, get a head of the game and collect these ahead of time to be ready. (pssssst… Do it while you are waiting in USCIS Stage!!!!).
Submit these documents the NVC. The Petitioner needs to perform the following:
- Complete an Affidavit of Support Form
- Obtain Financial Evidence
Affidavit of Support
The Affidavit of Support is a document that an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for the beneficiaries. This is usually the petitioner. To illustrate, the person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative (or other individual) coming to live in the United States.
The sponsor must meet a minimum income requirements. The requirements are based on the total number of people in the household (existing and proposed new). However, if the sponsor does not meet the minimum income requirement, existing assets, total household income, and/or joint sponsor can be used. For this purpose, click here to see the minimum household income requirements.
There are several Affidavit of Support forms and you will need to determine which form(s) to use:
Click AOS Guide for a guide from NVC on which form(s) to use depending on your situation.
Click here for a guide from NVC on filling out the Affidavit of Support forms.
Obtain Financial Evidence
Obtain the following financial evidence that will be submitted to NVC:
- IRS tax transcript for the most recent tax year is mandatory. Get your tax transcript at this link Tax Transcript. If you want, you can also include your tax transcripts for the previous two years. For example, using the transcript saves you from copying and submitting all of your tax forms.
- Evidence of income: Include a letter from your employer confirming that you are a current employee, full or part-time status, how long you have worked there and your salary or wage rate. Also, include copies of your W-2s for the previous three years.
- Proof of relationship, if you are using a joint sponsor
- Proof of domicile, if your address is outside the U.S., but you intend to live in a domicile in U.S.
- Social Security earning statement, if I-864W is used.
A more detailed guide on obtaining financial evidence is found on the NVC web site, Financial Evidence Guide.
Collect Supporting Documentation
About the Documents
The next step in the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase is to collect supporting documentation.
After collecting the financial forms and supporting financial evidence , the beneficiary and any IR-2 or CR-2 children immigrating with the petitioner to the United States needs to collect civil documents to support the visa application. (Do this also ahead of time!!!! Do this during your USCIS Phase waiting time!!!)
- Don’t send originals to NVC. Only send photocopies of all the required civil documents to the NVC.
- Keep the originals (or certified copies) and make a photocopy of each of the required civil documents for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview.
The original civil documents you bring to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate must be issued by an appropriate authority.
All documents not written in English, or in the official language of the country in which you are applying for a visa, must be accompanied by certified translations. This takes time. On account of the time necessary, get a head start. In addition, the translation must include a statement signed by the translator stating that the:
- Translation is accurate, and
- Translator is competent to translate.
Review each item below, obtain any that apply to the beneficiary and/or immigrating children:
- Adoption Documentation:If the immigrating child of the Beneficiary was adopted, submit all records Child’s of the adoption.
- Birth Certificates: Obtain and submit a copy of the birth certificate for the Beneficiary and any child immigrating
- Court and Prison Records:If the Beneficiary and/or any child immigrating were convicted of a crime, obtain and submit a certified copy of each court and prison record, regardless of the fact that they may have been granted amnesty, a pardon, or other act of clemency.
- Marriage Certificates: Submit a copy of your marriage certificate.
- Marriage Termination Documentation: If the Beneficiary was previously married, obtain and submit a copy of the divorce, annulment or death certificate. (Note only for the Beneficiary.)
- Military Records: If the Beneficiary served in the military of any country, then obtain and submit a photocopy of his/her military record.
- Photocopy of Valid Passport Biographic Data Page: The Beneficiary and each child immigrating submits a photocopy of the biographic data page of their valid passport. Specifically, the biographic data page is the page of the passport with your photograph, name, date, and place of birth.
- Police Certificates- Submit for beneficiaries (spouse and Children) over 16 years of age police certifications.
Submit Financial and Supporting Documentation
The next step in the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase is to submit financial and supporting documentation.
After you have completed the Affidavit of Support form(s) and collected the financial and supporting documents, it is time to submit all the forms, financial evidence, photocopies of the supporting documents in ONE package to the NVC. For example, the case may be significantly delayed if you fail to submit all of your documents in one package.
If you have several cases, i.e. child of the Beneficiary, submit in the same package but separate them with a different binding clip. Also, to avoid documents from being lost at NVC, write the Visa Case Number on he top right of every page of your supporting documentation.
How to Send Documents
Depending upon your case number, the financial and supporting documents are sent to NVC in one of the following manners:
- Email Processing
- Your Choice of email processing or mail in
- Mail in processing
Method 1: Email processing
If your NVC case number begins with one of the following prefixes, you send your documents in by email processing:
- BGH (except I-730 petitions)
Scan and email the financial forms and evidence, supporting documents, and translations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Most importantly, place your case number in the subject line of the email and keep your attachments below five megabytes (MB). Also, if you have more than one case, use a different email message for each case.
For more information, review NVC’s Document Scanning FAQs.
Method 2: Choice of processing
|If Your NVC Case Number Begins With||And Your Visa Category Is||You Can Choose Either|
|MTL||Any immigrant visa category||Email Processing or Mail Processing|
|GUZ||CR1, CR2, F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4, IR1, IR2 or IR5||Email Processing or Mail Processing|
|ADD, BNS, FRN, GTM, HNK, KEV, MRV, PHP, RDJ, SYD, TGG, or THT||IR1, IR2, IR5, CR1, or CR2||Email Processing or Mail Processing|
Important: Once you select a method, you cannot switch methods later in the process.
Method 3: Mail processing
If neither Method 1: Email processing nor Method 2: Choice of processing applies to your case, mail your financial forms and evidence, supporting documents, translations, and photocopies, with the Document Cover Sheet included with your NVC Welcome Letter. Mail to the following address:
National Visa Center
31 Rochester Ave. Suite 100
Portsmouth, NH 03801-2914
If your Document Cover Sheet is missing, print a new one online. Go to ceac.state.gov and click on “Fee Payment” under the “Immigrant” category.
First, enter your NVC case number and Invoice ID number. Secondly, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Print Document Cover Sheet” button. Finally, choose to email yourself a copy of your document cover sheet for printing at a later time.
- NVC will not accept documents saved on any form of electronic media, including CDs and memory cards. If you send any electronic media to NVC, they return it to you unopened.
- Don’t send originals to NVC. For example, only send photocopies of all the required civil documents to the NVC.
- Keep the originals (or certified copies) and make a photocopy of each of the required civil documents for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview.
Finally, the last step in the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase, is for NVC to review your case.
NVC takes up to 6 weeks for NVC to review your forms and documents. This is once they receive both the financial documents from the petitioner and the applicant’s supporting documents. In addition, you pay all required fees and submitted a DS-260 Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application online at ceac.state.gov.
Specifically, they will not review your file until they have received all of the above requested items.
At that time, NVC lets you know if there are additional items required (RFE). Alternatively, they inform you visa pre-processing is complete. Of course, a RFE increases the time spent in the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase.
If you receive an RFE, respond to it as quickly as possible. As a result, this reduces the amount of time that you remain in the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase
Send Case to Embassy
If NVC determines that your application is complete, they send you, your petitioner, and your agent/attorney (if applicable) an email or letter. The letter or email notes your embassy interview appointment date and time. Specifically, bring the appointment letter to your embassy interview.
Depending on your foreign spouse’s country, NVC may also schedule your medical exam for you. However, if not, they include information on how you can schedule your medical examination.
About 1-2 weeks after your application is complete, NVC sends your case to the U.S. Embassy. This is the embassy for your foreign fiance(e)’s country. When the embassy receives your case, the CEAC Visa Status Check will say “Ready”.
You are now done with the IR-1/CR-1 Spousal Visa NVC Phase and onto to the Embassy Phase