DOS Immigrant Visa Interview Backlog Reporting for March 2024. And Just When Is A Case “Documentarily Complete” and “In Line” for Interview?

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DOS Immigrant Visa Interview Backlog Reporting for March 2024. And Just When Is A Case “Documentarily Complete” and “In Line” for Interview?

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As of March 2024, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is reporting a backlog of 326,415 immigrant visa (IV) applicants, worldwide, with documentarily complete cases who are awaiting their IV interview scheduling.

The DOS reported a backlog of 374,532 at the end of February 2024, and reports that 48,117 applicants were scheduled for interview appointments in March 2024. This is a slight increase in interviews scheduled from the first two months of this year, but a marked decrease from pre-COVID numbers, where, in 2019, on average, 60,866 applicants were pending the scheduling of an interview each month.

Per the DOS report, this data “is a snapshot in time provided for informational purposes in order to be as transparent as possible. Given that these numbers change on a regular basis through our ongoing effort to reduce the backlog, they will be outdated soon after they are published each month.”

Additionally, “this data is specific to cases that have been processed by the National Visa Center (NVC) and determined to be ‘documentarily complete.’ It does not reflect IV cases that have already been transferred to an embassy or consulate for interview, cases that are still with USCIS for petition approval, or cases that are not considered documentarily complete.”

Regarding the process itself, typically, IV applications are marked “documentarily complete” or “documentarily qualified” and placed in line for interview scheduling once several things have happened:

  • The Immigrant Visa (IV) and Affidavit of Support (AOS) fees have been paid to the National Visa Center (NVC);
  • The DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application, has been completed, signed, and filed with the NVC;
  • The required supporting documents have been filed with the NVC, including the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and supporting financial and domicile documentation for the petitioner/sponsor and any joint or co-sponsor(s); and
  • The NVC has reviewed and accepted all the supporting documents.

The last step often takes several months, and if the NVC finds anything is missing, illegible, or incomplete, they will notify the applicant and allow an opportunity to file supplemental documentation. When that happens, the NVC pauses work on the case until the applicant submits the additional or corrected documentation, and then only once the NVC reviews and accepts the documents and deems the case “documentarily complete” or “documentarily qualified” is the applicant placed in line for an interview and notified of the same.

From there, interview scheduling timelines vary greatly among embassies and consulates – some are faster and some are slower – and applicants are largely at the mercy of interview wait times for their designated country, with some exceptions such as expedite requests in qualifying cases.

For more information about when an application is considered “documentarily complete,” visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/step-8-scan-collected-documents/step-9-upload-and-submit-scanned-documents.html.

For a step-by-step breakdown of the Immigrant Visa Process, see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/step-1-submit-a-petition.html.



Reminder: This information is for educational purposes only. For questions about your eligibility for an immigration benefit or your immigration options, contact Joseph & Hall at (303) 297-9171 to schedule a consultation. Existing clients can reach out to their attorney or paralegal for case-specific inquiries.

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