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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 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, 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


3.8/5 - (30 votes)

Greg is recognized as the leading national authority on enforcement of the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. Greg represents low-income green card holders in lawsuits to recover support from their sponsors. Practicing family-based immigration law, Greg also focuses on helping married and engaged couples with U.S. immigration.

This Post Has 109 Comments

  1. Hi Greg,

    I am a U.S. Citizen filed for my parents and my case is at the NVC stage. May i know how long does a lawyer take to prepare and submit the requested documents?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi, Tarek:
      I suppose it depends on the lawyer. Normally this is something in the range of a matter of weeks. But often the biggest factor is how long clients take to get back to a lawyer with requested materials.
      Best ~

  2. I have paid the IV, completed the form and submitted civil documents over a month ago. I have not been requested to pay an AOS fee or submit financial documents. It is for my child who is 7. Is there a delay between the two? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Beth:
      If your child is on a derivative application they won’t need an independent I-864. This depends on the case type that you have. But if they have their own I-130 petition they will also have their own I-864, in which case you should contact the NVC to ask that the invoice be issued.

  3. Hi. Please my petition has been approved by uscis and sent to NVC. NVC has sent us an email with the case number and invoice ID.
    Now my mum, the petitioner is trying to make payment for IV and AOS but it says in the summary that “ due to numerical number on limitations of immigrant visa issuance prescribed by law, the petition is not eligible for further processing at this time. The NCV will retain the petition until immigrant visa becomes available”. So does it mean that nothing can be done yet? Even the payment

    1. Hi, Eleke:
      That’s right. If you have a numerically limited preference category case then you aren’t able to file the documents until a visa number is going to be available to you shortly.

  4. I just entered the NVC stage. Is there a deadline when to pay for the two fees? If so how long is the deadline? Thank you.

    1. Hi, Sean ~
      The rule is only that you have to maintain written contact on a yearly basis. But of course your case won’t proceed until the fees are paid.

      1. Hello, i am from Philippines with an F3 visa. We received an email that we should submit our civil documents now. The instructions given said we should login to CEAC website with our case and invoice number, and then upload the scanned documents where it says documents button under the affidavit support. My problem is there is no such button when i logged in. Ive used different devices and still not there. How do we upload our documents? It says we should not mail. So its should be on the website. Anyone else experiencing this? Please i need help.

  5. Goodday Greg.
    I have just read your comment on nvc and their operations. Please I have the following questions. 1. I would like to know what happens if the validation period is about to expire, will I still get my ID invoice number. I got mail from nvc that my case will be transferred to the consulate in my country of residence. 2. How do i receive this ID invoice number? 3. Are they sending to me as the beneficiary or my fiance which is the petitioner? Please help me clarify this. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Osazuwa:
      1. The petitions validity date shouldn’t expire before NVC gets in gear; it doesn’t take that long to transfer.
      2. You’ll be notified by email if you provided an address with your petition.

  6. hi anybody who are with the same F4 category in the Philippines. please tell me how did you pay your AOS & IV fees because I find very confusing instruction from the consulate website. I dont understand if should have a philippine bank dollar account of should I have a US bank account in order to pay those fees. If it should be a US bank account, where can I find a US bank here in the Philippines?

  7. we are in the philippines. we have our I-30 approved. we are now to file DS-260. our problem is that we have no local checking account. what we have here is our ATM savings account. Can we use this savings account in paying the visa fees & AOS online? Can we pay the NCV online in peso? Pls give us a clear instruction for this. Thanks

      1. nowhere can i find a detailed instruction on how to pay online the AOS & IV fees….like do i have to open a dollar checking account or can i request only a cashier’s check? where should i start?

  8. Greetings,
    Thanks so much for this wonderful page and after reading all post I have my brain filled up.

    I would like to ask how long it takes to schedule for interview after NVC send you invoice and you paid also submitted the necessary document?

      1. So if they are telling me that I have this invoice request does it mean my case has an issue or is going to be delayed??

  9. Hi, Eric. NVC is the National Visa Center, which is the central paperwork processing facility for visa applications with the Department of State. After an F3 petition is approved and the priority date comes current, the case is transferred to the NVC so that paperwork can be filed for the visa application. That’s when it is “at the NVC.”

  10. Hi please l have paid for all lm supposed. And summitted all necessary documents to the .n.v.s .is almost 5 month now and still not heard anything from them. Please reply

  11. hello i applay forme i-130 for my spouse with green cart but now i have sitizenship after i upgred my case and send lettre to uscis withe first norice the uscis and naturaluzation copy
    how time take my case for approven my case and send my case to nvc

      1. Nvc received my approval petition file from uscis june 14 2018 how long should I wait before calling them yo ask for case number?

  12. Hi there, thanks for the article and guide, also the comment column for clarify our questions. It really helps a lot 😉
    I am still waiting for USCIS approval, and I want to prepare all documents during the waiting time. One of the documents we need to submit to NVC is ‘Police Record” from all countries we used to live in the past. I just left the country I used to work/live and back to my home country for consular processing. I did apply for the police record for the country i used to live previously, however it became expired during the USCIS process (for some reason, the police record from that country only lasts 3 months). Later on, when I need to deal with NVC, it would be difficult/impossible to apply again in that country. Can NVC understand the fact we already left the previous country and accept the one we applied during our moving? Please advise with such issues, thanks a million.

    1. Hi, Claire. Unfortunately, an unexpired police certificate is a mandatory part of the process. There is an exception if they are genuinely unavailable, but difficulty in obtaining the document does not suffice. Sometimes a person will need to hire a local attorney or other professional to help in obtaining the document. You can find the current instructions for obtaining these and other “civil documents” here:

      1. I have a.scheduled interview this coming june 2018 can my husband in advance for my green card?

  13. Dear Officer, I am Sunnykumar Patel, I am a indian and living in India. Before many years ago, my grandfather was live in (USA) PA., he had a green card and he putted our immigration file at US office by any attorney for main applicant is my mother, my elder brother and for me. My grandfather was die on 1999 in India and Immigration file was putted in US since 1994 by Grandfather on his green card. Unfortunately when he came back to india on 1999 he was die in india. My uncle is US citizen in the USA right now. I have my file number and my file category is F2B. When I check online case status, such a result founds as at NVC. I have been inquiry at US embassy at India, I have received the invoice I.D. number for visa petition and the beneficiary I.D. number. So let me some suggestions, what can I do for our file further NVC process to work according our immigration file? reply please. Thanks.

      1. No sir., i don’t received yet this type of any documents by NVC. I just received before might be welcome letter or other letter regarding our file details on 2001 at indian home address via post.

  14. Hi, thank you very much for this awesome page that seems to be helping allot of people. I read almost everything including people comments and replies. I have a question that might have been asked and answered already, but I thought maybe I can get a different answer perhaps.
    So my parents petitions i-130 were approved on Feb 18th of this year 2018, my attorney is handing this, but I met with him last week April 19th, and he said that they have not yet received the bill for AOS to send the document over to the NVC. My question is between the period of the approval and the time the NVC starts requesting these documents to be filled and payments to be made, how long does that take? And after the bill is paid and receipt has been provided, and until the NVC sends it to the US consulate in the foreign country, what would be the estimated waiting time? Knowing that my family are Syrians and the consulate is in the capital of Saudi Arabia.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Ammar. Your lawyer should be happy to answer such questions for you. We would be quite embarrassed if our own clients didn’t feel that they could discuss their cases with us – that’s why they hire the firm!

      We have seen many cases recently where it took over 90 days for the NVC to issue AOS and visa invoices. After 90 days your lawyer can file a status request with the NVC if the invoices haven’t been received. Likewise, it is realistic to expect multiple months for the NVC to review documents, once filed, and forward the case to the consulate. This is a harrowing situation for the family, of course, given the pending Supreme Court ruling on the Travel Ban.

  15. Hi we got our invoice (AOS)at NVC
    we paid the AOS fee and the status is now PAID
    My question is: The NVC will send another invoice for IV Processing ?
    thank you

      1. I have recieved from NVC invoice of number (invoice ID) but affidavit support will not open so my visa fees how I pay? Please guide us the procedure

        1. Hi, Ash. You’ll need to contact the NVC to resolve the technical issue. Might want to first try a different browser (specifically Edge and Chrome) to see if that resolves the issue.

  16. hello, i just want to ask if the agency is delaying the visa fee bill, can i pay it on my own, i dont have US bank account. and is there a time frame given on when they have to pay the said fee bill.? thanks

      1. We just got our case number and invoice number. Our case was approved Feb 5, 2018 from USCIS and received at NVC on feb 12, 2917. It’s March 14, 2018 and just received numbers, if this helps anyone. Now i wonder if i have to wait for paperwork in email or can i pay online to start process.

  17. Hi, I appreciate all the advice on your site. My question is related to filing an I-130 for a sibling (or maybe even a couple more). Do I only file the I-130, or do I need to include the I-864 at the same time, or would the I-864 be filed at a later time in the process? , Thank you again.

      1. Good afternoon Sir I have a question . There was an error on my combo card. But it’s uscis fault I sent it back with my birth certificate . Do you know how long it’s gonna take to get my card back. Work permit

  18. 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

  19. 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

      2. Hello sir, pls my question is this, the invoice sent with my case number is it for only AOS fee payment or together with IV, or nvc will send anoda invoice for payment for IV. I’m confuse help

          1. I have only received case creation noticewith invoice id and case number.

          2. On CEAC website summary page showing that currently no visa available. They will retain the petition.

            But my concern is if no visa is available and all fields are freezed then how can i add the members.
            I have added members on website.

  20. 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

  21. 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,

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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!

  28. 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!


    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.

  29. 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

  30. 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).

  31. 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?

  32. 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 ?

  33. Hello..Sir .. good 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. .

  34. 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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