To track the status of immigrant visa cases, contact the National Visa Center by email, phone or postal mail. For nonimmigrant visa cases, contact the National Visa Center via a special phone number. The National Visa Center only provides information about visas to applicants or to attorneys, sponsors or members of Congress representing applicants.
When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approves an immigrant visa application, it mails the applicant an official notice of approval with a priority date and forwards the application to the National Visa Center. Frequently the notice of approval reaches the applicant before the application reaches the National Visa Center, so wait six to eight weeks or more before contacting the National Visa Center about the status of an application. Unless the applicant is an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or resident, visa processing is subject to yearly immigrant numerical limits. The National Visa Center may hold an application until its priority date becomes current and a visa becomes available in the applicant's category.
When a visa for the applicant's category is upcoming, the National Visa Center sends an email or letter to initiate pre-processing. At this point, the National Visa Center collects the visa application, fees and documentation and schedules an interview with a consular officer. The U.S. Department of State sends out monthly bulletins updating current numerical limitations of immigrant categories as they apply to monthly cut-off dates.