The National Visa Center (NVC) is a visa processing center operated by the US Department of State. The National Visa Center opened its permanent facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1994.
After the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves an immigrant visa petition, the USCIS forwards the petition to the NVC. The NVC is responsible for collecting visa application fees and documentation and retains the visa petition until the case is ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.