USCIS Approved – What are the next steps?

U.S. Department of State National Visa Center

The past year has tested the patience of everyone around the globe. Covid-19 put a wrench in the gear of everyone who has a petition out there for the K1 Visa. Frustration, stress, and anger are all normal responses to waiting with no response on what step of the process your petition has stalled at. The problem is the United States Government closed all the Embassies around the world, and just like most businesses, the USCIS has continued to process petitions with a down sized staff, with some of them working from home.

It has been months since you sent in your petition. You are anxiously waiting for the Notice of Action 2 (NOA2) from the USCIS. You come home from a long day at work to find the envelope you have been waiting months to arrive. “Now what do I do?” you ask yourself. Well K1 Visa Guru is here to help you understand what is going to happen next.

What happens to the Petition once approved?

The time has come that you received your NOA2 from the USCIS saying your petition was approved. Congratulations! On our Facebook page we see a lot of questions wondering what everyone needs to do next. The answer to this question is, you do Nothing. That’s right you don’t have to do anything from this point on. USCIS has completed its checks of all the documents you submitted, background checks, and now they have deemed your relationship to be legitimate allowing your petition to move on to the next part of the process. This step usually takes 6-8 months on average, but since Covid-19 hit these processing times have taken much longer than usual.

Page of passport with visa

Now your petition has been approved, and it has been forward on to the National Visa Center (NVC). Be advised once the petition has left the USCIS you will not receive any further notices. The NVC will not notify you that they have received your documents, nor will you receive any notification that it was sent off to the Embassy. If you want to make sure that the petition has arrived at the NVC you are welcome to call or email them to check on your petition at the following:

  • Phone – 603-334-0700 (Available 24/7) (Live person available Mon-Fri 7 AM – 12 AM)
  • Email – NVCINQUIRY@state.gov – Provide the following information in your email:
  1. Provide your USCIS Receipt Number
  2. Name and date of birth of the petitioner and beneficiary.
  3. Reason for your communication -Change of Address, Death of Petitioner or Beneficiary, Checking status.

What happens at the NVC?

Here is the step that Covid-19 hit the hardest. Once your petition is approved it is sent to the NVC to be processed so it can be sent to the Embassy/Consulate which you designated for your interview site. So now what happens at the NVC, and how long does this process take?

Many Embassies are starting to open allowing for the K1 Visa beneficiaries to start scheduling their interviews. Be patient a little longer because some of the Embassies are still closed. These Embassies are not process K1 Visa petitions, and unfortunately have no time frame on when they will begin to allow you to schedule your interview. The best option is to check the CEAC website a few times a month to see if the Embassy has opened dates to schedule your interview. The other option is to call or email the Embassy to inquire if they are open, and allowing K1 Visa interviews. We find that the CEAC website is the quicker and more efficient way to see if they opened dates to schedule your interview.

The NVC has a pretty quick turn around normally. The petition arrives at the center, and normally it is sent off to the Embassy within 30 days. Well Covid-19 has cause a back log at the NVC which has added months to the forwarding of petitions. Petitions stalled here because the Embassies were not accepting any new petitions for interviews. Some Embassies are still closed, and are only processing certain types of petitions such as emergency travel visas, business visas, work visas, and some expedited spouse/K1 Visas.

After the NVC has received your petition it goes through another set of checks to make sure everything is in order. They verify where the petition is being sent so it goes to the correct interview site for final processing. Your petition is then packaged up with other petitions going to the same Embassy, and forward on so your Fiance can schedule their interview. The petition has arrived at the embassy, and now you begin the final stage of the K1 Visa process.

K1 Visa Petition arrives at the Embassy

After the petition has arrived at its final destination the beneficiary will receive notification from the Embassy on what the next steps will include. The petitioner will not receive any further notifications from this point on unless your email was used to send communications throughout the entire petition process. The petitioner part of the process begins at the USCIS, but the end of the process is all about the Beneficiary.

If you have not received any information from the Embassy you can call to notify them, and they will make sure they have the correct information on file. They will then resend the instructions. Normally these are sent via email from the Embassy so make sure you check your spam folder to make sure you don’t miss the email.

 

 

Preparing for the interview

So now that it has been sent to the Embassy, and you have received your instructions you can begin to follow them to prepare for your interview. We have written a blog post on what to do to be interview ready which you can find here.

Conclusion

We understand how stressful it is to go through this process, and we understand how frustrating it can be because you want to be together as soon as possible. Unfortunately Covid-19 has added to that frustration because not only has it stalled your petition, but it also has shut down travel so you can’t even go to be with your fiance. Just remember to be patient, and keep communicating. Don’t be afraid to call regularly to keep the petition moving or gather the information on where in the process it is. Make sure to let them know you are available if they need any further information or documents to help get the process moving. You may be on hold for a long period of time, but that time will give you a little piece of mind that they are still working on your petition.

I hope this post helps explain what the process is from the USCIS, through the NVC, and on to the Embassy where you can schedule your interview. One more bit of advice. Please be careful with joining some of these lawsuits. There are a lot of people out there who act like they have good intentions, but will take advantage of your frustration and stress. There are many lawsuits out there, but be careful not to give too much personal information as they will scam you, and Never give them any money if they request payment to take you on to their class action lawsuit.

If you enjoyed this post please leave a comment or question below. Also, please feel free to share this blog post on your social media platform, or with your friend/family who are also going through the process.

 

Kevin H.

www.k1visaguru.com

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