National Visa Center

On 06.27.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info

National Visa CenterThe National Visa Center (NVC) enters the immigrant visa process once the immigrant visa is approved by United States and Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS). The USCIS will forward approved immigrant petitions to the NVC for an immigrant pre-processing. If immigrant petition was filed based on immediate relative categories, there is no yearly numerical limits. For family preference and employment immigrant categories there are numerical limits each year; and therefore, wait times should be expected and can be lengthy for visa processing to begin.

After the NVC receives the immigrant visa petition and if your priority date meets the most recent qualifying date the NVC will collect visa application fees, accept your visa application along with supporting documents and hold your visa petition until an interview can be scheduled with a consular office at US Embassy or US Consulate office.

If the NVC receives immigrant petition and the priority date does not meet the most qualify date, you will be notified by the NVC and your petition will be held until your priority date meets the most recent qualifying date. Qualifying dates are updated on a monthly basis by the Department of State.

If your Priority Date is earlier than the Qualifying Date for your visa class and your foreign state chargeability, your Priority Date meets the most recent Qualifying Date and your petition is ready to begin processing at the NVC.

The USCIS typically assigns your immigrant visa petition a Priority Date when you filed it with USCIS. If you are unsure of your Priority Date, you should refer to the Approval Notice that you received from the USCIS.

National Visa Center Fees

Listed below is the National Visa Center Visa Fees. It is recommend to check with the NVC for updated Visa fee schedule.

Temporary Travel to the U.S. – Nonimmigrant visa application processing fees are tiered, based on the visa category you apply for. Nonimmigrant Visa application fees are nonrefundable.

Non-petition-based nonimmigrant visa (except E): $160.00

Includes the following visa categories:
B Visitor Visa: Business, Tourism, Medical treatment
C-1 Transiting the U.S.
D Crewmembers – Airline, Ship
F Student, Academic
I Media and Journalists
J Exchange Visitors
M Students, Vocational
TN/TD NAFTA Professionals
  T Victim of Trafficking in Persons
  U Victim of Criminal Activity

Petition based visa categories: $190.00

Includes these visa categories:       
H Temporary Workers/Employment or Trainees
L Intracompany Transferees
O Persons with Extraordinary Ability
P Athletes, Artists & Entertainers
Q International Cultural Exchange
R Religious Worker

E – Treaty Trader/Investor, Australian Professional Specialty category visa: $205.00

K – Fiance(e) or Spouse of U.S. citizen category visa: $265.00

 Border Crossing Card Fees

Border crossing card – age 15 and over (Valid 10 years): $160.00

Border crossing card – under age 15; for Mexican citizens if parent or guardian has or is applying for a border crossing card (valid 10 years or until the applicant reaches age 15, whichever is sooner): $16.00

Other Fees

L visa fraud prevention and detection fee – for visa applicant included in L blanket petition  (principal applicant only): $500.00

Border Security Act fee – for visa applicant included in L blanket petition, where petition indicates subject to fee  (principal applicant only): $4,500.00

When the nonimmigrant visa application processing fee is not required:

Applicants for A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO, and diplomatic visas (defined in 22 CFR 41.26): No Fee

Applicants for J visas participating in official U.S. Government-sponsored educational and cultural exchanges: No Fee (See Exchange Visitor Visas for further detailed fee information)

Replacing machine-readable visa when the original visa was not properly attached or needs to be reissued through no fault of the visa applicant: No Fee

Applicants exempted by international agreement as determined by Visa Services, including members and staff of an observer mission to United Nations Headquarters recognized by the UN General Assembly, and their immediate families: No Fee

Applicants travelling to provide charitable services as determined by

Visa Services: No Fee

U.S. Government employees travelling on official business: No Fee

A parent, sibling, spouse or child of a U.S. Government employee killed in the line of duty who is traveling to attend the employee’s funeral and/or burial; or a parent, sibling, spouse, son or daughter of a U.S. Government employee critically injured in the line of duty for visitation during emergency treatment and convalescence: No Fee

Nonimmigrant visa issuance fee, including border-crossing cards.

See the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out the visa issuance fee amount, if applicable  Varies (Reciprocal)

When the nonimmigrant visa issuance fee is not required:

For an official representative who is part of a foreign government or an international or regional organization of which the U.S. is a member; members and staff of an observer mission to United Nations Headquarters recognized by the UN General Assembly; and applicants for diplomatic visas as defined under item 22(a); and their immediate families: No Fee

An applicant transiting to and from the United Nations Headquarters: No Fee

An applicant participating in a U.S. Government sponsored program which may include applicant’s dependent spouse and children: No Fee

An applicant travelling to provide charitable services as determined by Visa Services: No Fee

Other- When a Visa is Not Required – Visa Waiver Program 

Citizens of Visa Waiver Program participating countries, and meeting requirements pay a small fee.

Coming to the U.S. Permanently – Immigrant Services 

Immigrant visa application processing fees are tiered, as shown below, based on the visa category you applied for.

Notice: Every visa applicant must pay the visa application processing fee for the visa category being applied for.

Filing an Immigrant Visa Petition (When collected by U.S. Embassies and Consulates for USCIS. Fees subject to change.)

Immigrant petition for relative (I-130): $420.00

Orphan (intercountry adoption) immediate relative petition  (I-600, I-800): $720.00

Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fees (non-refundable, per person)

Immediate relative and family preference applications (processed on the basis of an approved I-130, I-600 or I-800 petition): $325.00

Employment-based applications (on approved I-140 petition): $345.00

Other immigrant visa applications (including Diversity Visa applicants, approved I-360 self-petitioners, special immigrant visa applicants, and all others): $205.00

Certain Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant visa applications: NO FEE

Other Fees

Diversity Visa Lottery fee (per person applying as a Green Card lottery selectee for a DV category immigrant visa): $330.00

Affidavit of Support Review (only when reviewed domestically): $120.00

Note: Forms and fee amounts are listed for immigration petitions which are submitted to Department of State, either accepted at an Embassy or Consulate abroad, or within the U.S. to the National Visa Center or Kentucky Consular Center. All other immigration related forms can only be approved by the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Please check the USCIS website for other form fee schedules.

Note: The above fee charts are provided as reference and source of information was collected from the National Visa Center. For updated visa fee schedule, please check the NVC website.

Special Visa Services

Application for Determining Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117: $180

Transportation letter for Legal Permanent Residents of the United States: $575

Application for Waiver of two-year residency requirement, J Waiver, Form DS-3035 $120

Application for Waiver of two-year residency requirement, J Waiver, Form I-601 (Collected for USCIS and subject to change): $930

Refugee or significant public benefit parole case processing: NO FEE

Note: These fee charts are based on the Code of Federal Regulations- Title 22, Part 22, Sections 22.1 through 22.7.




Visa Processing

On 05.10.12 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info

One of the greatest challenges of applying for a travel visa from the U.S. government is figuring out the amount of time that will be needed to process your request. Unfortunately, the processing times vary depending on whether you seek to enter the United States as a visitor, a student, or a worker, and you can spend anywhere from a single day up to six months waiting to receive word on whether your application has been approved.

If you are trying to plan a trip to the United States, you can use the chart below to determine how much time you will need in order to complete your visa application. You can look up specific visas by type using the center column, or by their USCIS designations (H3, K-1, O-1, etc.) using the column on the left. The right side of the chart lists the processing times by immigration form type, telling you how long you will need to receive your visa from the U.S. government — although you may experience delays if USCIS determines that there are problems with your application.

  • Athletes, entertainers, and performing artists generally need the most time for visa processing.
  • NAFTA professionals seeking to acquire a TN visa only require one day of processing time. Processing B-1 and B-2 visas for temporary visitors on tourism or business travel can also be processed in a single day, but may need up to three months of processing time.
  • Of the five H-series visas (H-1B, H-1C, H2-A, H2-B, and H3) granted for temporary workers, the H-1C visa for registered nurses requires the most processing time — it normally takes around six months.
Visa Type Visa Purpose Average Visa Processing Time
Temporary Work Visas

H-1B Specialty Occupations and Fashion Models 3-6 Months
H-1C Registered Nurse 6 Months
H2-A Agricultural Workers 2 Months
H2-B Non-Agricultural Workers 3-6 Months
H3 Nonimmigrant Trainee 1-3 Months
E-1 Treaty Traders 2-4 Weeks
E-2 Treaty Investors 1 Week – 6 Months
E-3 Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia 1-2 Months
L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager 2-4 Months
L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge 2-4 Months
O-1 Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievements 3-4 Months
P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete 3-6 Months
P-1B Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group 3-6 Months
P-2 Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program 3-6 Months
P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program 3-6 Months
Q Cultural Exchange 3-6 Months
R-1 Temporary Religious Workers 1-2 Months
TN NAFTA Professionals 1 Day
Visitor Visas

B-1 Temporary Business Visitor 1 Day – 3 months
B-2 Temporary Tourist Visitor 1 Day – 3 months
Student & Exchange Visas

F-1 Academic Student Visa 3 Months
M-1 Vocational Student Visa 3 Months
J-1 Exchange Visitor 1-2 Months
Fiancé(e) Visa

K-1 Fiancé(e) of U.S. Citizen 3-6 Months

Visa Processing by Embassy or Consulate Office

For Visa Processing Times by U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office, please click here.