Latest Developments in

Immigration Law

Pending Visa Cases

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the United States’ embassies and consulates have temporarily halted or restricted their services. These restrictions have seriously delayed the processing for pending visa applications.

My Visa is pending with the NVC (National Visa Center). When will I be able to get an interview?

Each consular post is deciding on a reopening timeline on a case-by-case basis based on the Covid-19 situation in the country where the post is located. You can check the current status of appointments at your local consulate on the NVC’s website.

Do I need to do anything to make sure my appointment is scheduled?

If your family or employment-based immigrant visa case is currently pending with the NVC with all of the required materials, and your local consulate is not currently scheduling interviews, you do not need to take any additional steps. You will receive an interview appointment once the consulate begins scheduling interviews again.

Under ordinary circumstances, cases pending with the National Visa Center have a validity time limit, but the NVC has officially confirmed that documents which have been submitted and accepted, but which do not have an associated interview scheduled, will remain valid beyond six months without requiring action on the part of the applicant.

I desperately need to get to the United States. Can I do anything to get an emergency appointment?

Yes, most consulates do offer emergency appointments if you are facing a genuine emergency. Some examples of potentially qualifying emergencies include serious medical emergencies or the death of a close relative.

To request an emergency appointment, you can send a request to When making this request, you should include relevant and identifying information – including your case number – and you should fully explain your qualifying emergency. You can also visit NVC’s website to find the specific emergency request portal for your local consulate. Even these expedited requests, if approved, usually take at least 3 to 5 business days to be scheduled.

If you are not sure if you may qualify for an emergency appointment, or if you would like help submitting a request for an emergency appointment, you can make an appointment with Attorney Jon Wu to discuss your case.

I don’t have an emergency, but is there any way I could get a visa without having to interview?

The Secretary of State has waived the interview requirement for certain applicants applying for nonimmigrant visas. If you have previously had a nonimmigrant visa, and you are now applying for the same type of immigrant visa, you may be eligible to have your interview waived. To be eligible, your previous visa must have expired within the last 48 months.

This policy is currently in effect until December 31, 2021.

If you are not sure if you qualify, or if you would like help with requesting an interview waiver, you can make an appointment with Attorney Jon Wu to discuss your case.

San Mateo Immigration Lawyer Serving San Francisco Bay Area