Have you paid your fee bills and submitted your civil documents, and now weeks have passed and you still haven’t heard from the NVC? That’s because according to the NVC, “We are experiencing a high volume of incoming mail at this time” (source: email to attorney of record inquiring to the status of case where civil documents were submitted January 4th, 2017).

Nvc.state.gov/submit indicates the NVC is processing applications in approximately 11 weeks after it receives ALL documents, including paid fee bills, financial evidence (if applicable), DS-260, and civil documents. Applicants read: make sure you submit ALL required civil documents that apply to your case and complete the DS-260 as soon as possible once fee bills are paid. If the NVC discovers a missing civil document, the 11-week (likely longer) clock restarts.

In times of high volume, we’ve noticed the NVC tends to make several mistakes. For example, it may send notice of missing documents, the DS-260 for example, that was submitted weeks ago. If this is the case, as soon as you become aware of the mistake, contact the NVC to correct the error as it will not start processing the case again until it is aware of the error. The worst case scenario is a notice of a missing document it sent out in error, the applicant knows its an error and so they ignore the notice, more than a year passes with no action or communication to or from the NVC, and then the NVC moves to terminate the case because the applicant did not contact the NVC for a year. In this case, the applicant starts from scratch, including repaying the fee bills.

With regard to long processing times, the NVC indicates “We are diligently working to reduce our review time and appreciate your patience. NVC will notify you after our review if there is additional information required or if we are able to schedule your case for interview.

If past history at the NVC during this time of the year is any indicator of future trends, we do not expect the NVC to reduce processing times any time soon.