This post is part of a series about what to do while your Priority Date is retrogressed, once you have received your I-140 Approval Notice from USCIS. It applies to cases which will be processed through US Consulates, and not to Applications to Adjust Status filed in the US.
Despite recent retrogression, the USCIS will continue to adjudicate I-140 petitions and send the approved petitions to the NVC for processing. The NVC has ceased working on processing documents for beneficiaries whose priority dates are no longer current; however, the NVC continues to issue fee bills for the petitions recently received from the USCIS even though the beneficiary’s priority date is retrogressed. The question then becomes should I pay the fee bill now? No.
Rather than pay fee bills now, we recommend one waits until their priority date becomes current again and then paying the fee bill. Circumstances may change between now and the date one becomes current again, such as marriage, or the birth of a child. Should one pay their fee bill now, he or she will undoubtedly receive a letter from the NVC than no immigrant visas are currently available. The NVC process moves along inexplicably more quickly when the beneficiary is able to follow a sequential series of steps from paying fee bills to completing the DS-260 to submitting civil documents. If one pays a fee bill now and needs to add additional family members to their case later, it could result in a delay by having the NVC generate the additional fee bills of family members later and then having to piece the different documents for one family together to determine who is missing what documents.