On November 12, 2014, the Department of State made a significant change to the way original documents are handled for Immigration Visa Applications.
The National Visa Center (NVC) will no longer require you to mail them the original civil documents, such as police, birth and marriage certificates. Instead, you will send NVC photocopies of the documents and take the originals to your consular interview. You will still need to send NVC the affidavit of support containing an original signature.
This action was taken to help reduce the workload of the NVC. In recent months, the rapid advancing of some cutoff dates resulted in the contractors for NVC being unable to keep up with the increased immigrant visa demand.
This change is really just a step back in time. It was not that many years ago that we never sent originals to the National Visa Center (or its predecessor TIVPC). However, now it will be the U.S. Petitioner’s responsibility to be sure the visa Applicant will have ALL of the necessary originals before their consular interview.
The advantages of this new (old) system is that it eliminates the need for original documents to be mailed to the United States, and also reduces the hassle of ensuring that the embassy returns your originals. Now, at the interview, the consular officer will already have copies of your documents and in most cases will just compare and return your original.
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