What should an EB-5 investor do if the National Visa Center (NVC) hasn’t received their petition from USCIS?

If the National Visa Center (NVC) has not issued confirmation that it has received an investor’s approved I-526 petition from USCIS after about five or six weeks, the investor should contact either USCIS or their attorney. If the investor did not work with an attorney, they should contact USCIS and wait for a response. If the investor has an attorney of record, the NVC may correspond with the attorney rather than the investor, so it is best to confirm with the attorney whether the NVC or USCIS has sent any correspondence regarding the case. If the attorney who filed the investor’s I-526 petition is no longer associated with the case, the investor may want to retain new counsel to handle the delay. It is important to follow up on a lack of response to avoid delays later in the application processing process.

When the NVC receives an approved petition, it assigns a case number for that petition. However, the NVC will begin pre-processing the investor’s application only once their priority date falls under the most recent qualifying date published in the monthly Visa Bulletin. If the investor’s priority date is not current, the NVC will notify the investor and hold their application until the investor’s priority date is current or will soon be current. Either way, the NVC will contact the investor when it receives the approved petition from USCIS.

When the NVC is ready to begin pre-processing an investor’s petition, it will instruct the investor to complete Form DS-261 if the investor does not already have an attorney. Next, the NVC will invoice the investor for the visa application fees. Once the investor has paid the fee bills, the NVC will request the visa application and supporting documents. It will then hold the application until an interview with a consular officer at a U.S. consulate or embassy becomes available.