Normally, visa applications go through a standard timeline for processing, which can take several months or even years. In emergencies or hardship, a petitioner can speed up an immigration case with a National Visa Center (NVC) expedite request. This post will explore the NVC expedite criteria, the process, and even an NVC expedite request sample letter.

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What is an NVC Expedite Request?

The National Visa Center (NVC) Expedite Request is a formal request to expedite the processing of a U.S. visa application. It aims to speed up this process in urgent or exceptional circumstances.

To be successful, the request usually needs to meet certain criteria that demonstrate the need for urgent processing. Before you decide to make an NVC expedite request, you should have a valid reason for doing so. The following are considered valid reasons to make the request:

  • Petitioner has a serious medical condition or health ailment (life or death medical emergency)
  • Urgent humanitarian reasons
  • Beneficiary has experienced severe trauma in their home country (i.e., sexual assault, the victim of a crime, etc.)
  • Financial hardship (these must be thoroughly documented to prove the financial loss that has or would occur)
  • Child beneficiary is turning 21 years out (also known as “aging out”)
  • Delays by the National Visa Center
  • Petitioner needing the beneficiary to care for them due to health reasons
  • Beneficiary giving birth soon

Other factors may be considered a hardship. Seek advice from an immigration lawyer for proper guidance for your individual situation.

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How to Make NVC Expedite Request

To request a review for expedite, submit a scanned letter (or statement) to [email protected] from a physician (or medical facility). The letter must include the physician’s (or medical facility’s) contact information and declare a life or death medical emergency exists.

Be sure to include the case or receipt number on the subject line along with at least one of the following:

  • Petitioner’s name and date of birth
  • Beneficiary’s name and date of birth
  • Invoice ID number

You can also contact the National Visa Center by telephone at (603) 334-0700 for immigrant visa inquiries or (603) 334-0888 for nonimmigrant visa inquiries. Customer Service Representatives are available from 7:00 AM to 12:00 midnight Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

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NVC Expedite

If the NVC expedite request is approved without conditions, then the NVC will send it directly to the U.S. Consulate overseas, and the consulate will send a notice for the interview to the beneficiary (along with instructions).

Be sure to have all the required documents available for this. If the expedite request is approved with conditions (pay the required fees, forms, etc.), these will need to be completed before the case is sent to the U.S. Consulate abroad.

NVC Expedite Request Letter Sample

Here is an NVC expedite request sample letter:

Email to: [email protected]

Subject: Request for NVC Expedite for NVC Case Number XXXXXX.

NVC Case Number: XXXXXXX

Beneficiary’s Full Name: Jose Chavez

Beneficiary’s Date of Birth: 05/11/1990

Beneficiary’s Telephone Number: 999-398-2289

Petitioner’s Name: Maria Chavez

Petitioner’s Date of Birth: 02/22/1977

Petitioner’s Telephone Number: 902-765-3222

Dear Sir/Madam:

My name is Maria, and I am requesting to expedite the case of my father, Jose Chavez, NVC case number XXXXXX, because I am facing an emergency medical condition and need him to help care for me during my surgery (put the reason that applies to your case here). Mention the current status of your case including any fees you have paid, forms submitted, etc. If you are claiming a serious medical condition or health ailment, be sure to include medical documents showing this is accurate. In addition, provide as much information supporting your hardship (financial, medical, humanitarian, etc.) and the reason for your expedite request.

[The following is a timeline of events regarding the visa application for Jose Chavez]

Please contact me at 902-765-3222 if you have any questions. Thank you!


Petitioner Name

Maria Chavez

Phone: 902-765-3222

You may be prompted to file a request through the NVC Public Inquiry Form in response to this email. 

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After the NVC receives your case, they enter the information into their system and issue a special NVC case number. You then receive a welcome letter, which includes the case number and invoice ID and the next steps in the process. If you request to expedite the case, the immigration case will go directly to the U.S. Embassy overseas and skip the National Visa Center process.

USCIS makes this decision on a case-by-case basis, so it’s important to have a solid reason for making the request. Schedule a consultation and let our expert legal team take care of your immigration needs.

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Check NVC Status

You can check your NVC status in the CEAS case tracker.

Below are common statuses and what they mean:

  • “At NVC”: This basically means that your file has not yet been sent to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate and is still being processed at the National Visa Center. If you see that this is not changing within a week, you may want to contact them directly by phone at (603) 334-0700.
  • “In Transit”: Good news – your case has been sent to the U.S. embassy/consulate! This status means that they have not received it yet.
  • “Ready”: The U.S. Consulate/Embassy has received your file, and they are ready to schedule the interview.

Once your file is prepared, schedule an interview at the embassy. Next, you’ll need to either set up or register for a medical examination. Finally, participate in the embassy interview to complete the process.

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What to Bring to the Interview

Once your NVC expedite request is approved without conditions (or the conditions have been completed), then the next step is for the beneficiary to prepare for the interview. The beneficiary should bring the following documents with them to the U.S. Consulate abroad:

  • Appointment letter confirming interview at U.S. Consulate
  • DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application confirmation
  • If this has not been completed before receiving NVC expedite approval, then it needs to be done. You will need to wait 2-3 days after receiving the approval to do so. In the CEAC system, it will say “Start Now” when prompted to complete the DS-260. If it says “Pay Now,” then wait 2 to 3 days for the system to update. Use the Invoice ID number and beneficiary’s ID Number from the Notice to Applicant page to complete the DS-260.
  • Beneficiary’s passport (needs to be valid for min. 6 months)
  • Medical information envelope from the approved medical examiner (may also be sent directly to Consulate from the medical examiner)
  • Three passport-style photos (2×2 inches, color ink)
  • Police clearances from anywhere the beneficiary has lived since 16 years old
  • Certified birth certificates (translations as well if not in English)
  • Certified marriage certificates and/or divorce decrees (if applicable)
  • Evidence of relationship
  • Affidavit of support (Form I-864) along with support evidence
  • Form DS-5540 if beneficiary previously lived in the United States

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What if a visa is not available for my relative’s category?

If a visa is not available, unfortunately there is nothing that NVC can do to expedite the petition. Immigrant visa processing is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, which controls availability of visas. There is no provision within the law that would allow the Department of State to issue a visa to someone for whom a visa is unavailable.

With that said, if the expedite request is not granted, then the case will continue to process as it normally would. Should the NVC determine that you need to submit any corrected documents, they will notify you. With non-expedited cases, you will often receive the approval notice from USCIS before it actually arrives at the National Visa Center. Do not worry in this case; you can always check on the processing timeframes for the NVC.

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If you have additional questions about how the NVC processes requests, VisaNation Law Group immigration attorneys can provide necessary feedback and suggestions to further expedite your wait for visa approval. A 20-minute consultation can save you months of stress and headaches.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions individuals ask regarding the NVC expedite process.

What are some reasons I can request an NVC expedite?

Several reasons can qualify for an NVC expedite including the petitioner having a serious medical condition (life or death medical emergency), humanitarian reasons, the beneficiary experiencing severe trauma in their home country, financial hardship, etc. If you are unsure whether your case warrants an NVC expedite request, consult your immigration lawyer.

What does my approval with conditions mean?

Conditions can mean you need to pay the required fees or complete forms before sending your case to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy overseas. A qualified immigration lawyer can assist you with satisfying these conditions.

What does my approval without conditions mean?

If you received an NVC expedite request approval without conditions, then it will be sent directly to the U.S. Consulate overseas, and a notice for the interview will be sent to the beneficiary (along with instructions).

How long does it take NVC to respond to expedite requests?

Assuming you meet the requirements of the expedite request, USCIS will respond to your request anywhere from 30-45 days. Additional delays and backlogs may affect you.

What happens after NVC approves expedite requests?

After your NVC expedite request is approved, you will receive instructions to schedule your interview at the embassy, schedule or register for the medical exam, attend the exam and then complete the interview.

How do I request expedite NVC?

Email your request to [email protected] using the sample format provided above. You can also contact the National Visa Center by telephone at (603) 334-0700 for immigrant visa inquiries or (603) 334-0888 for nonimmigrant visa inquiries.

How do I write an expedited letter to NVC?

See the NVC expedite request letter sample above for a rough outline. In your email, include the NVC Case Number, beneficiary’s full name, date of birth, telephone number, petitioner’s name, petitioner’s date of birth, and telephone number.

Where do I send my NVC to expedite request?

Email your request to [email protected].

How can I add an attorney to my specific immigration case?

You can submit form G-28 Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative to the National Visa Center.

Is it possible to transfer a case from one embassy to another? 

Yes, it is absolutely possible. You should contact the U.S. embassy or consulate you’d like to receive your case to put in a formal written request to transfer. If you do not live in the country of that office, include that detail in your writing. If your case is currently at the National Visa Center, you should contact them to make the request.

If my relative had their interview and was denied is there a way to reverse this decision?

Unfortunately, once the NVC makes a decision they cannot change it but you discuss options with your attorney and they can try contacting the U.S. consular office where your case was handled.

How We Can Help

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The speed at which your case is processed can often significantly impact your life and your future plans. VisaNation Law Group attorneys know the process to submit a NVC Expedite Request and how to draft an appropriate letter. Give them a schedule a consultation and explore all your options.