National Visa Center reduces customer service hours

The National Visa Center (NVC) announced a change in the hours of operation of its call center for telephone inquiries.

The new customer service hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

Previously, the hours were 7:00 a.m. to midnight ET.

What is the National Visa Center?

It is an office of the U.S. Department of State that helps process all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

Telephone numbers for the NVC

For immigrant visa inquiries call (603) 334-0700.

For non-immigrant visa inquiries call (603) 334-0888.

Due to the high volume of calls, the NVC warns that wait times can exceed 30 minutes.

Information you should have when making the call

When you call the National Visa Center, you should have information about your case, including the receipt number, the name of the petitioner and beneficiary of the application, and their dates of birth.

One-year contact requirement

U.S. immigration law provides that an alien has one year to apply for an immigrant visa from the time he or she receives notification that a visa is available. If the alien does not respond within that time period, the Secretary of the Department of State must begin the process of canceling the petition of the alien who did not contact the NVC to claim his or her immigrant visa.

The petition may be reinstated within two years of notification of visa availability, but only if the alien can demonstrate that he or she did not claim the visa for reasons beyond his or her control.

It is extremely important to respond to NVC notices within one year. Failure to do so risks termination of the alien's application and loss of the benefits of that petition, such as its priority date, and fees paid to the federal government.