The National Visa Center (NVC) acknowledged to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Liaison Committee that because of the global COVID-19 outbreak, NVC has temporarily reduced staffing levels. Inquiries made to NVC via the online “Ask NVC” form can expect delayed responses and in some cases, no responses. NVC stated that in order to prioritize cases with “urgent medical or humanitarian concerns moving to post” and to “ensure they respond only to critical case updates” any routine messages submitted on or before March 27, 2020 will not receive a specific response. Instead the inquiries will receive instructions to resubmit the form only if there is an urgent medical or humanitarian situation or if it provides NVC with a necessary update on a case that is still pending.
NVC is continuing to process cases, but any routine or status inquiries should be made using the online resources:
- Department of State Self-Service Tools (current case status, documents required for submission)
- National Visa Center Case Processing Timeframes
- U.S. Embassy and Consulate Updates
- National Visa Center Frequently Asked Questions
After utilizing those resources, if an individual is still unable to resolve an urgent problem and cannot wait for NVC to return to normal staffing and operation levels, he or she can reach the NVC call center during normal business hours of 7:00 a.m. ET to 12:00 a.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Representatives are experiencing high call volumes and NVC has noted that wait times may exceed 30 minutes. Between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. callers may experience additional wait times. You can reach the NVC call center at the following numbers:
- Immigrant visa inquiries: (603) 334-0700
- Nonimmigrant visa inquiries: (603) 334-0888
Visit Challa Law Group’s COVID-19 Resource Page for Employers & Foreign Workers to read about other critical immigration updates.