Amidst all the controversy surrounding the influx of unaccompanied minors into the US, few people may have realized that the National Visa Center ("NVC") is undergoing major delays in visa processing. It seems that late last month, NVC attempted to remedy minor issues with its system maintenance and performance by updating some software. Unfortunately, after upgrading the software, NVC began to experience additional performance issues that have directly affected its ability to issue visas. As it stands, the Consular Consolidated Database is not up to full operational capacity.
As a result, NVC recently issued an additional but hopefully temporary 60-day review time to process and review documents received in connection with approved immigrant petitions from U.S.C.I.S. Visa applicants should also anticipate a one-week delay in addition to normal processing times.
What this means in practical terms is that most immigrant visa cases will experience significant delays in processing. Affidavits of support or responses sent to address deficiencies noted in any checklists from NVC will not be able to reviewed and evaluated right away. Normally, in most cases, if NVC has not completed its pre-review of the case, the case will not be forwarded to the US consulate for further processing. This technical problem already aggravates situations where documents are not properly reviewed and where checklists are unnecessarily issued. For example, it is not uncommon for NVC to request Joint Sponsors or additional financial documentation to support an Affidavit of Support when it may not be warranted.
We will post more information regarding visa delays as it becomes available.