State Department No Longer Requires Original Documents for Consular Processing!
A State Department memorandum announces that the National Visa Center (NVC) will cease collecting original civil documents in support of immigrant visa (IV) applications as of November 12, 2014. Most applicants will be required to submit photocopies of supporting documents (such as birth, marriage, and police certificates) and will be instructed to take their original documents to their interviews for review. This does not include Affidavit of Support forms, which petitioners will still submit to NVC for initial evaluation.
After applicants and petitioners collect the Affidavit of Support form(s), financial evidence, and supporting civil documents, they are instructed to submit all of the documents to NVC. As of November 12, 2014, applicants at non-electronic processing posts will be instructed to submit photocopies of their civil documents by mail. NVC will review the copies and, when the case is documentarily complete, will place the copies into the file, which will be sent to post, increasing the number of cases that are documentarily qualified. When the appointment is scheduled, NVC will instruct applicants to bring their original documents to the interview for evaluation and final case processing. Original Affidavit of Support forms will still be submitted to NVC for initial evaluation. Applicants at designated electronic processing posts will continue to submit their documents via email. NVC anticipates this change will maintain the integrity of the IV process, reduce customer wait times, and improve the customer experience overall.
We applaud this action, since NVC waiting times have increased greatly of late, much of it caused by the NVC’s scrutiny of original documents.