World Journal Weekly Q & A - July 15, 2012
Q & A 1.
Why Was Reader Told to Wait 1-2 Years by NVC When Fee Bill was Paid Long Time Ago?
A Filipino’s brother asks:
My sister and I were born in the Philippines. I filed immigrant papers for my sister in 1990 when I became a U.S. citizen.
This is my second inquire, because I have not received any response as of today. In the end of 2010, I received immigration notice that my sister’s priority date was current. I submitted DS-230 and paid fee of $808 for my sister and brother-in-law. However, the DS-230 was incomplete and needed to resubmit. In addition, we must apply for local birth paper and it took time. We did not resubmit all the papers until 8/2011. However, we did not receive any thing. I called and was told we must wait for another 1-2 years. Why was that? Is there a way we can request to speed up the interview?
What you received at the end of 2010 was most likely a fee bill from the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC is the entity between U.S.C.I.S. and the consular posts, and it is charged with setting up and carrying out the documentary collection process so that the consular post only has to interview the visa applicants. Unfortunately the Center does not necessarily coordinate priority date with its demand for fee payments. If you filed immigrant papers for your sister in 1990, that priority date never became current for persons born in the Philippines. For the month of June 2012, the F-4 priority date for siblings of U.S. citizens born in the Philippines is only up to January 22, 1989. Our criticism of the NVC is that many times it sends out fee bills where the priority date is nowhere close to becoming current as seemingly happened in your case, while on others where the priority date is very close to becoming current or is current, the NVC does not send out the fee bills and petitioners must literally beg the agency for the bills. If on the other hand, you filed immigrant papers for your sister earlier and the priority date is current, you should point this out to the NVC and request expeditious processing of your sister's case. The fact that you were told you must wait for another one-two years makes me suspect, however, that you were correct in stating your date of initial filing for your sister (1990) and that the NVC prematurely sent out the fee bills.