Confusion over US Embassy interview scheduling

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IMMIGRATION CORNER – Michael J. Gurfinkel – The Philippine Star

February 27, 2022 | 00:00

With the pandemic thankfully on the wane and US embassies around the world slowly reopening, there are so many families eager to have their cases finally scheduled for interviews, so they can get their immigrant visas issued and travel to America. .

It’s been about two years since people’s immigration records were put on hold, due to COVID shutdowns, lockdowns, Trump’s immigration ban and downsizing at the National Visa Center (NVC) and in embassies.

The family members contact the NVC and the embassy about their interviews, but the instructions are vague and confusing, leading to more frustration. In this article, I will discuss the latest developments related to Embassy interview scheduling and highlight the conflicting, confusing, and even conflicting instructions provided by the NVC and the Embassy.

First, even if a person’s priority date is current, they will not be queued or scheduled for an interview unless the case is “documentarily qualified.” This means that the NVC has received all requested documents and all fees have been paid, and the file is simply awaiting an appointment for an interview. In many situations, a person’s priority date may be current, but they have not yet submitted all the forms or paid the required fees, so their case will not be scheduled for an interview. Therefore, ensure you receive confirmation from NVC that your case is documented qualified to be queued for an interview.

However, when people contact the NVC and the Embassy, ​​they sometimes receive conflicting instructions and emails. For example, the embassy can inform people that their case or request is still at the NVC and that the NVC is in the process of collecting all required fees and supporting documents. According to the embassy, ​​”NVC will not forward the visa application to us. [the embassy] until they have set a time for the interview with the candidate. In other words, the embassy is waiting for the NVC to schedule the interview, and the person should contact the NVC for additional information.

If a person contacts the NVC, he receives the opposite information from the embassy. The CNV informs that the case is qualified on the documentary level, which means that the CNV has already collected all the required fees and supporting documents. The NVC indicates that it is the embassy that “informs the NVC when they have interviews, and we [NVC] fill in appointment date as cases become qualified. As a result, the case “will remain at the NVC until an appointment is scheduled. [presumably by the embassy]and then we [NVC] will send it to the US Embassy. In other words, the NVC is waiting for the Embassy to tell them when to schedule the appointment, and the Embassy informs them that they are waiting for the NVC to schedule the appointment.

It also appears that the US Embassy in Manila has temporarily stopped accepting or scheduling CNV cases, as it is already overwhelmed or behind schedule with existing cases that have been on hold for the two years of the pandemic. world of COVID. In other words, the Embassy already has so many backlogs that all appointment slots are filled.

Some cases may be expedited for various reasons or emergencies. But it would be nice if the embassy could reduce its backlog either by increasing its staff and interview slots, or at least by having the NVC and the embassy give clear instructions, instead of everyone telling applicants to contact the other agency.

I know this information may not be encouraging, but I wanted to let people know that they are not alone. Thousands of other people are just as confused, frustrated and impatient to have their scheduled maintenance. We will continue to post news and developments as they occur.

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