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I Got An Invoice From The National Visa Center (NVC), What Do I Do Next?

I got an invoice from the National Visa Center (NVC), what do I do next?

The National Visa Center (NVC) is where immigration cases can start to get really, really complicated. This post walks you through how to take care of paying your visa fee once you receive an invoice from the NVC.  We assume you’re working on a family-based case for this discussion. Before you begin make sure you have (1) your NVC invoice and (2) a copy of a check from the account you plan to use to pay. NVC does not accept credit/debit card payments.

Notice that the letter from the NVC contains three different documents: (1) a cover letter; (2) an Affidavit of Support Fee Invoice; and (3) an Immigrant Visa Fee Invoice. The Affidavit of Support refers to the Form I-864 that must be filed by the petitioner at the NVC. (Learn more than you ever want to know about the Form I-864 here). The Immigrant Visa refers to the DS-260 that the intending immigrant will file with the NVC. This is the immigrant’s formal application to seek a visa from the State Department, as opposed to the Form I-130 filed by the U.S. petitioner, which I think of as an invitation immigrant.

The N-V-what?

What is the NVC anywhy and why are you here? It’s a good thing, actually, because it means your case is progressing. Originally you filed your I-130 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. At this point you will have received an approval notice from USCIS. That means that they are done with your petition. Since your spouse is applying through a U.S. consulate, the case is forwarded to the State Department, which handles such consular applications. The NVC serves as a document clearing house for the State Department. It is the job of the NVC to collect your visa fee, receive your online DS-260 visa for, and compile all the supporting documents. Once the NVC has everything that it believes is required in your case – and only then – the case will be forwarded to the appropriate consulate. (Important note: if you spouse is planning to adjust status in the U.S. then you need corrective action to get your case back on track. You should not be at the NVC if your spouse is planning to adjust using Form I-485.)

Step (1) – Go to the “Consular Electronic Application Center.”

To pay your NVC fees, navigate to http://ceac.state.gov. This is the State Department’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website. It will be used to receive your payment, and later to submit your online DS-260 visa application. I recommend using an updated Internet Explorer browser to access the site, as there can be problems with other browsers. (Download Internet Explorer for free here). I would also discourage you from using your smartphone, as these browsers are also not supported. Before logging into the website, make sure you have the invoice with you since you’ll need information from it.

After navigating to http://ceac.state.gov, select the “fee payment” option.

Step (2) – Log in using your case-specific information.

To log into CEAC you need to numbers from your invoice. Your NVC Case Number appears on the cover letter you received, and on the two separate invoices attached to the letter. The NVC Case Number is used from this step forward by the State Department to identify your case. The other number you need is an Invoice I.D. Number. There are different Invoice I.D. Numbers on the Affidavit of Support and Immigrant Visa Fee Invoices you received. But both are linked to the same case file and will take you into the same CEAC screen. Find the NVC Case Number and Invoice I.D. Number by looking at the Immigrant Visa Fee Invoice – usually that’s the last page in the correspondence from the NVC.

That information gets entered into the CEAC screen as shown below. Notice that you need to select from the pull-down menu what your relation is to the case. If you filed the Form I-130 you are the petitioner; if you are the person applying for visa you are the applicant. Your attorney can also log-in on your behalf if you have one. At our firm we give clients the option of paying the fee themselves or having the firm do it.

Step (3) – Select one fee at a time.

Remember that we said above you have two separate invoices to pay: the Affidavit of Support Fee Invoice and the Immigrant Visa Fee Invoice. At the time I’m writing this the affidavit fee is $120 and visa fee is $325, but they go up periodically. Both invoices are tied to the same case, but the invoices have to be paid one at a time. No, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

Step (4) – Enter bank account information.

You’ll next be given the opportunity to enter your bank account information. The routing number and account number can be found on a check from your personal bank account.

Step (5) – Pay the second fee.

After paying the first invoice, just return to the main screen of your CEAC case and repeat payment for the second invoice.

Step (6) – Wait.

You’re probably already good at waiting at this point. Typically the NVC will issue you a payment receipt by email within 48 business hours. If you don’t see one then you should see if something went wrong. (There have been many problems with the NVC payment system lately). The NVC can be contacted at 603 334-0700 (Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 12:00 AM Eastern Standard Time) or asknvc@state.gov.

 

I got an invoice from the National Visa Center (NVC), what do I do next?
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Greg McLawsen

I’m proud to be the founder of Sound Immigration. My job is to work behind the scenes to ensure our clients have an outstanding experience at our firm. I’m passionate about reinventing the practice of law to make it work better for those we serve. I work hard to identify the best available technology to make our firm convenient for clients. I look to other industries, like real estate and the restaurant business, to learn about practice that will help serve our clients better.

This Post Has 42 Comments
  1. Hi Greg,

    I will like to know how long you have to wait to receive welcome letter from NVC after your priority date becomes current ? Thanks for your assistance

  2. hi, I think im in need of some big help. Im living in Jamaica . My step mother is my petitioner. I got a letter to go to the embassy for interview in September. However i understand everything except the DS260, where i should complete an online electoral form, i did not get an invoice number and i also dont have a card to pay from. o im really confuse as to how i go about this

      1. I need some important information about my case I submitted i485 and i765 on June 2017. I received receipt notice for both of them and on July I did my fingerprint. July 24th I received my package back because they didn’t receive my money oder. Im like what they talking about if you don’t receive money why I have receipt number and biomotric done. I did sent back my package. But my question is that affect my i765 because they didn’t sent it back with the package. Do I need to do my biometric again? Thank you

  3. Hi i have a question how many days before i receive the coversheet because i was waiting for cover sheet i only need ,i was trying to print one but its not going thrrue thank you

      1. Hello sir
        I received my package back today they say they rejected my i485 because they didn’t receive the money oder. As I did my fingerprint already in was gonna ask you if I will be able to receive my work authorization

  4. Hello,
    Our case was accepted by the USCIS office. We already paid all the fees and complited the affidavit and all the documents required at this stage.
    We have sent last week our documentation to the NVC. Do You know normally which is the processing time for a consular process? How many time we have to wait until receive an appointment for the interview to the Italian consulate?
    Thanks a lot for your support,
    Matteo

  5. Hello sir, I have a question after i130 is approved I filled i485 and 765 and send it to uscis and the same I received the i130 welcome letter asking my wife to pay $120 and I already sent the package to uscis. What can I do

  6. hi there,
    My question how can i change my invoice bill fee for the affidavit of support and immigrant visa fee because untill now my invoice fee bill is has no increase still $88 for aos and $230 for the iv fee. how can i change it to $120 and $325 in my invoice fee bill. thanks liza

  7. I have my case number and invoice my petitiont 1July 2004 F4. But until now not open for I fees 120$ and 325 $ why not open and. When will open

  8. Hi my question the nvc they donit send nothing I call meny time and they told me invoice Id my case is more than 7 month so what I do now I take Lwyer

    1. Hi, Tesfaye: If you received the invoice ID you need to pay the invoice(s), then prepare your DS-260/160 and supporting document packets. The NVC will not take action on your case until you do so.

  9. My mom has an Invoice ID number but the petitioner passed away so we will have to go back to USCIS for an I-864 substitute sponsor. Here’s the problem, we no longer have a copy of the I-130 approval nor the Receipt number as it got damaged during a flood. The fact that we have an Invoice ID, wouldn’t that be enough for USCIS to consider approval of a Humanitarian Reinstatement request?

  10. Hi, my case is at NVC and it’s been almost six months and the Fee Status is still NOT INVOICED. it’s an I-30 family based petition. Could you please tell me what’s going on? When will I get the INVOICE? I’m from Pakistan by the way. Thank you!

  11. Hello,

    This is about a marriage based visa but does that include k-1 visas? The reason I ask is because my fiancé and I are trying to get registered at the US Embassy in Thailand and are needing to enter a Invoice ID number. Our lawyer said he wasn’t sure if that was required for our K-1 visa. We’re waiting for him to look into this but found this post online. Do you think maybe we’re not doing things in the right order or are Invoice ID numbers always required for even k-1 visas? Note that we did get approval from the USCIS and the NVC to start our processing to get an interview date.

    Please advise! We are anxious and stressed!

    Nobu

    1. Sawasdee krab: Yin-dii dûay on the engagement! No, the NVC is not involved in K-1 cases. If your lawyer doesn’t know that it makes us wonder who you’re working with. Once the I-129F is approved it will be forwarded to the Bangkok consulate. When that happens you’ll receive a detailed instruction letter from the consulate. In Bangkok it’s a two-step process, where you submit some paperwork by courier, then bring originals to the in-person interview. In Bangkok interviews are currently being scheduled within one month of when the petition arrives.

  12. Hi, my husband filed I-130 for me and my son. Now we are willing to pay the fees for NVC. My question is: how much fees do we have to pay (325$ for each one or both of us, and AOS 120$ for each or paid once for both knowing that my son is 6 years)? After the fees are paid how long does it take in average to schedule an interview? Thanks alot

  13. Hello sir,
    I have one question. Can i send my affidavit of support via email? If so than should affidavit of support is taken during interview?

    1. Hi, Brishty: Is this a consular processing case from an I-130? If so you will need to file your I-864 in paper form with the NVC. The only exception is if you are going to one of the few consulate for which the NVC is experimenting with email filing. In that case, the paper I-864 has to come to the interview. (I would send you the State Department website link but their website isn’t loading for me right now).

  14. Hi I’ve had trouble paying the IV fees. I have paid my AOS($120) fees and finished the DS261 and collected all the financial and supporting documents however I can’t pay the IV fees because the click box is grey and can’t be clicked. Should I send my financial documents first and wait for them to send me the invoice for IV fees? Or should all the financial and supporting documents go together after I have submitted my DS-260? I am stucked at this scenario and I can’t seem to find at other forums of what I should do next. I’ve read different similar cases, some said that after paying the AOS fees they sent their financial documents first and waited for an Invoice for the IV fees then submitted their DS-260 followed by sending their supporting(civil) documents. While on the other hand, some said I should wait for the DS-260 to be submitted before I send all the documents.

    1. Hi, Rishamai:You definitely need to pay first. Before paying the fee you will not receive the “document cover sheet” that must accompany your documents.

      The problem is almost certainly a technical one on your end. I would recommend updating Java on your PC, and trying a different browser such as Microsoft’s Edge or Internet Explorer. If you are trying to make the payment on a tablet (iPad) or phone that is likely the problem. Borrow a friend’s PC if you don’t have one.

      1. I am having similar kind of trouble paying fees. My petitioners name is not shown in the invoice page and so I can’t pay the AOS fees. Also my IV fee payment box remains grey and it can’t be clicked. I am using a PC and browsers are updated, too.

    2. My payment box is blur or grey, too. So, I can’t click on it to pay my fees. Can you tell me what to do now?

  15. Hi, my sister has filed I-130 petition for me and it got approved last year and now currently my case is at NVC in which it clearly states that: follow the instructions you received from NVC and pay one or more fees but when I sign in to the fee invoice page it says FEES STATUS NOT INVOICED. I want to know when will it become invoiced, its been a month now?? I shall be much obliged if you shine a light on my topic and give me some details about it.

    1. The NVC should send invoices within a month of when you’re notified that the case has been transferred. If it’s been longer than that you need to contact the NVC and request issuance of invoices. Sometimes they are sent to a spam folder on your email account, so check there (search “NVC” in the spam folder).

      Unfortunately delays at the NVC are not uncommon, and you sometimes need to push back forcefully if they’re not processing the case.

        1. Very good question. The core law is the same for all consulates – such as the 10-year bar issue – though local processing times vary dramatically. The most crucial issues, though, are the broad immigration law issues like the 10-year bar.

          1. So, what should I be expecting? Whats your guess when I will receive my INVOICES, because so far everything is going smoothly like last year my application got approved and this year it went to the NVC ?

  16. Hello..Sir .. good day..am waiting so long months to my petition . Everything was submitted ..I have case number ..confirmation invoiced we payed waiting the invoiced again. I don’t know till when we wait. Can u help me what next of it. .

  17. This my case number , SDO ,588062
    I want to know why I didn’t get any documents from immigration?. I need help with my documents. why I didn’t get any answers about my case ? , if anything happen with my case or know something about my case please contact me at this email address, [Editor’s note: redacted]
    Thank you for the help,
    ATT: Felix Francisco Perez

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