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Original Civil Documents no Longer Required by the National Visa Center (NVC)

The Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) is now only requiring photocopies of Civil Documents in support of Immigrant Visa applications.

On Wednesday, November 12, the State Department announced that its NVC will stop collecting original civil documents in support of immigrant visas. Changing a long-standing practice, applicants are now permitted to submit photocopies of supporting documents such as birth, divorce, marriage, death and police certificates. The original documents should be brought to the Embassy or Consulate interview. This change in policy is welcome as some civil documents are difficult if not impossible to obtain if lost.

Note that Affidavit of Support forms and supporting evidence should still be submitted to the NVC during the “documentary qualification” phase for both family and employment-based immigration. Once a case is deemed documentary qualified, the applicant is scheduled for their Embassy interview.

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