+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

What is the difference between USCIS and the NVC?

What is the difference between USCIS and the National Visa Center? I have seen both mentioned in terms of EB-5 processing. Which one should we contact if we have questions during the application process?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When you have questions about your process, your immigration attorney should be able to handle most, and will know the best entity to contact. While the I-526 is pending, USCIS controls the process. Once approved, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center, which focuses on the actual investor rather than the investment and project.

  • Avatar

    James Yang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The NVC is part of the Department of State. Each has its functions, but generally the NVC becomes involved for individuals who seek consular processing of certain U.S. visas or immigration benefits abroad.

  • Avatar

    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) works primarily with persons within the United States. The National Visa Center (NVC) is within the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) and works primarily with persons who will collect their visas at the embassy/consulate overseas. If you will be adjusting status in the United States, you will contact USCIS. If you will be collecting your visa overseas, you will contact the NVC.

  • Avatar

    Richard A Gump, Jr

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. Generally, USCIS is the immigration agency that adjudicates immigration benefits. In the EB-5 context, the I-526 petition is submitted to USCIS. The NVC is the National Visa Center, which is part of the Department of State. The NVC is like a clearinghouse for U.S. consulates worldwide. After an immigrant petition is approved by the USCIS (including the I-526), the case is sent to the NVC so that the agency can gather the required documents for the immigrant visa application.

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that processes petitions such as the I-526, I-829, I-924 in the EB-5 visa context. The NVC is the National Visa Center, which is part of the U.S. Department of State that processes various types of visas, such as immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas. For example, when an individual EB-5 investor's I-526 is approved by USCIS and he or she is residing abroad, he or she will process with the NVC to consular process his or her immigrant visa for permanent residence in the United States and will be scheduled by the NVC for an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. embassy in his or her home country.

  • Avatar

    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is immigration, and the NVC is the U.S. State Department and they issue visas. USCIS is your contact during the application process.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS/DHS handles the visa petition, and the NVC/Department of State does the actual second stage or visa processing.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and is the agency that reviews and adjudicates the I-526 immigrant petition. The NVC is part if the State Department and is a clearinghouse agency that takes the approved I-526 file from USCIS and accepts the immigrant visa applications from the investor and his family to be processed at the consulate office at the embassy in your home country. If you have any questions about your process, the best person to answer that is your lawyer.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While both agencies are involved in immigration processes, they are two distinct agencies with two different functions. USCIS is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with which immigration applications/petitions relating to EB-5 are filed first. The National Visa Center (NVC) is part of the U.S. Department of State and it handles the visa process. Upon approval of applications/petitions for applicants/beneficiaries living abroad, USCIS will forward those applications/petitions and their approvals to the NVC, which will handle the visa process through the U.S. consulates and embassies around the world. Thus, the need to contact either agency depends on the nature of your questions and the stage an application/petition processing is; if an application is with USCIS, that is the agency to contact, but if an application is further along and has been approved, the NVC is one to contact for any eventual visa and consular processing questions.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The difference between USCIS and the National Visa Center is as follows: USCIS means the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, which actually has jurisdiction to approve the investor petition on Form I-526. Once approved, USCIS notifies the National Visa Center, which is under the U.S. Department of State. The National Visa Center deals purely with administrative matters making sure that the investor applicant is documentarily qualified, i.e. he has all the documents ready before being scheduled at the final interview at the appropriate American consulate, which in the case of China, would be the American consulate in Guangzhou. Who you should contact depends upon where the visa petition is; if it is still pending with USCIS, you would contact the USCIS. If the petition has been approved and the individual has not been scheduled for their final interview after the appropriate number of months, you would contact either the National Visa Center or the appropriate American consulate. Remember, none of this can happen until visa numbers are available under the quota and as of today, there is a growing backlog for Chinese applicants.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is the government agency that adjudicates/processes the I-526 immigrant investor petition (and the I-829 petition to remove conditional permanent residence). After your I-526 petition is approved, if you are residing abroad, USCIS forwards your petition to the NVC for immigrant visa pre-processing and coordinates (gathering of necessary documents, info, etc., and then scheduling of the visa interview) with the U.S. consulate abroad that will be adjudicating/processing your immigrant visa.

  • Avatar

    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First you file with USCIS. If you are outside of the United States, USCIS forwards the visa to the NVC. You contact whichever office is currently processing your application.

  • Avatar

    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the NVC is the National Visa Center. USCIS handles all of the immigration form processing/approvals stateside, while the NVC handles consular processing abroad.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.