The third step of consular processing is when a case is documentarily qualified at the National Visa Center (NVC). This means that the case is ready to be turned over to the embassy for processing and scheduling the interview.

When a case becomes documentarily qualified, the process usually becomes smooth sailing from then on. However, in 2022, this step in consular processing is not as simple as it used to be.

The Process is Not As Simple Now

In the past couple of years, we’ve seen plenty of challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to conflicts between countries. These have affected immigration processes, causing delays and mountains of backlogs in several embassies around the world.

The after-effects of these events have carried over to 2022. It’s taking embassies longer to process cases and schedule interviews due to the overwhelming casework they need to keep up with. Because of this, the National Visa Center needs to put cases on hold until the embassy tells it that it’s ready to accept more cases for processing.

Some of the embassies that are extremely backed up are in Ethiopia, where it takes up to 9 months for an interview to be scheduled, and Islamabad in Pakistan, which took over cases transferred from Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan.

You’re Documentarily Qualified at the NVC — What’s Next?

If a case that is documentarily qualified at the National Visa Center is not moving forward, it’s likely because the embassy is currently unable to take on new cases at the moment. With that, the case is being put on hold until the receiving embassy is ready to process new cases and schedule the interviews.

To verify this, applicants can go to the embassy’s main website and look for information on the current status of their interviews. They can usually be found on the homepage or the visa pages.