nvc expedite for financial hardship

CR1 Spouse Visa And NVC Expedite For Financial Hardship

Waiting for your spouse visa to be approved isn’t what I would consider fun. It’s stressful and causes a lot of anxiety waiting to hear back from USCIS or the National Visa Center (NVC). This post is all about the CR1 visa and NVC expedite for financial hardship.

A CR1 expedite request is a way of bypassing the NVC processing completely. Let’s learn more about the National Visa Center and what their responsibility is.

The NVC is located in Portsmouth, NH and is part of the Department of Homeland Security. They prepare your case documents for the US consulate or embassy abroad.

After the I-130 petition is approved by USCIS, it’s forwarded to NVC for case processing which includes:

Case Example:

Brianna met Jin in South Korea while she was teaching English. After dating for a year they decided to get married before she returned to the United States. They submitted the I-130 petition to USCIS and after it was approved and sent to NVC, they prepared their NVC expedite request for financial hardship.

Brianna is unemployed and caring for her very ill mother who is dying from Cancer. She decides to gather the evidence she has on her financial hardship so that NVC will approved her expedite request for her new husband.

If you submit all the right documents to prove your case and your expedite request is approved, it will speed up the process immediately.

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NVC Expedite For Financial Hardship And Other Reasons

An expedite request is not something that’s easy to get approved. You’ll need to show financial hardship that is far worse than the regular financial hardship that we all face.

So, losing your job or having credit card debt isn’t enough to convince NVC to speed up your case processing because you’re having financial hardship.

Evidence to include to show financial hardship:

Having huge financial commitment:

  • Home loan
  • Student loan repayment
  • Credit card debts
  • Medical debts
  • Car loan

By showing evidence that you as the US citizen is living on the edge of financial ruin, USCIS may expedite your case based on these facts.

But, it won’t be easy.

Most people in the U.S. make more than $1600 a month and in most cases if you are a family of two, you need to make less than this amount to be under the poverty guidelines.

I’m not sure why they make this amount so low because you literally need to be making less than $10 an hour to meet this requirement.

Good news is that even if you make a decent wage above the poverty guidelines, the amount of your debt payments can help you meet the financial hardship requirements.

If the sum of all of your debt repayments is $1200 and your monthly income is $2,800, you have a good chance at proving your case for NVC expedite for financial hardship.

Case Example:

Mike works as a manager at Burger King and makes $28,000 a year. He also has credit card debt of $18,000 and student loans of $56,000. Mike doesn’t own a home and rents a 1 bedroom apartment of $950. Based on his financial circumstances, he submits an expedite request for his Chinese wife’s visa.

Although just having a lot of debt and very little income may not be enough to prove financial hardship, the worse your finances look, the better chance you have to get approved.

How To Request NVC Expedite For Financial Hardship

To request USCIS to expedite the processing of an immigrant petition or visa, you’ll need to contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC). The NCSC forwards your Service Request to the office with jurisdiction over the application or petition.

Call the National Customer Service Center


Calling customer service is quick and easy and can often be completed the same day. Remember to get confirmation of the expedite request over the phone and don’t hang up until you do.You will likely still need to submit your request by mail so you can include all of the evidence of financial hardship.

If the first customer service representative is not helpful to you, hang up and call again. You  may get someone on the phone that is unfamiliar or unwilling to process an expedite request. Instead of getting upset, just call back and talk to someone else.

I always recommend putting your request in writing so you can keep a copy of the request. USCIS is notorious for losing documents and asking for them again and again.

Write a Letter of Expedite to USCIS

I’d recommend that you submit your request in writing for a few reasons:

I generally think the best first step is a written request for expedited processing. Of course, this needs to be submitted to the correct USCIS office and should include the evidence you can provide to show you meet one or more of the expedite criteria. A persuasive cover letter or brief from your attorney should also help.

Reasons to submit expedite request in writing:

First, it’s important to have a record of what you’ve requested so that later if you have to prove what steps you took you can provide a copy of this letter.

Second, although you can make the request by phone, you win t be sure that they’re going to write down everything you tell them. Anyone can contact the ​National Customer Service Center. But I prefer to have a request in writing.

Third, when you submit your request in writing, you can attach evidence to show you meet the required expedite criteria. You can’t really do this overt the phone, right? Certainly USCIS can follow up with you after a phone request and ask you for more information. But if they don’t you won’t be able to prove your case.

Sample Letter of Expedite for Financial Hardship [DOWNLOAD]

Schedule an InfoPass at a local Service Center

You also have the option to visit a local office by scheduling an InfoPass appointment. Petitioners that live overseas should submit their requests directly to the USCIS office with jurisdiction over their applications or petitions; contact information for overseas USCIS offices is provided on the USCIS website.

Remember, USCIS reserves the right to request documentation supporting the request to expedite an application or petition and it’s up to them to choose whether to grant this request.

If NVC Expedite For Financial Hardship Is Approved

When your NVC expedite for financial hardship request is approved, you’ll be notified by mail or email.

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate General has accepted this case for expedited processing.  This  file will be immediately  forwarded to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General.  Any further questions concerning processing or the interview appointment date should be directed to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. 

Please note that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General may still request additional forms or fees at the time of your interview. Please be prepared to submit any missing forms and pay any required fees at the time of your interview.”

After you receive this notice from NVC, they won’t send you any more communication.

The NVC expedite for financial hardship approval will bypass all NVC processing and moves on the consulate stage of the process. Normally, the NVC takes months to prepare your case to send abroad.

Since your case is quickly expedited to the US consulate, you may have to complete the next few steps after your case has been transferred.

  • Payment of affidavit of support fees.
  • On-line completion of DS-260 Visa Application.
  • Submit financial/supporting documentation.

You can check your case status on the CEAC website.

Different Case Statuses and What They Mean

At NVC case status“At NVC”

  • Your case is still at NVC.
  • NVC is preparing to send your case to the embassy
  • If it’s been more than a week, call NVC to check on the status. (1-603-334-0700)

“In Transit”

  • NVC has mailed your application to the embassy or consulate
  • Embassy or consulate may not have received it yet


  • The embassy or consulate has received your application
  • They are “ready” for your interview to be scheduled

After Your Case Documents Arrive at the US Consulate

Clip board and paper with checkmarks on forms neededOnce your documents arrive at the US consulate, it’s time to complete the following steps:

  • Schedule your embassy interview
  • Select courier option
  • Schedule your medical exam
  • Complete DS-260 Online Visa Application, if you have not already done this at NVC.
  • Attend your Medical Exam
  • Complete your embassy interview

In most cases, the consulate sends you a letter or an email giving you specific instructions on how to complete he above steps. You should also receive a list of documents to bring to your interview.

Schedule Interview

Since NVC sent your case to the US consulate, they will not schedule your interview. You need to schedule your own interview. Some US consulate provide instructions on how to do this on their website.

If NVC Expedite For Financial Hardship Is Denied

If your NVC expedite for financial hardship request is ultimately denied, your case will be processed as usual. Even if a final decision isn’t made, your case isn’t on hold and will continue the same process as if you haven’t requested an expedite.

Therefore, there is no downside to filing for an NVC expedite for financial hardship request because your case will either be expedited or processed at the same speed as every other case.

Final Thoughts On NVC Expedite For Financial Hardship

In most cases, if you are truly having financial hardship and need your case expedited, submit the NVC expedite for financial hardship request. It won’t hurt your case if you aren’t approved but if you are approved, it will speed up the process by a few months.

Be sure to include as much financial evidence as you can to show that you are having trouble financially. It must be more than regular financial problems that most people face.

I’ve given you some examples in this post but here is another:

Case Example:

Janet is a single mom of two children and she is petitioning for her Iraqi husband. She works part-time as a librarian and makes $16,000. This is not enough to support a family of 3 so she gets subsidized housing and food stamps.

Janet submits her NVC expedite for financial hardship request and provides evidence of her financial hardship with ban statements, credit card statements, government benefits statements etc.

NVC approves the expedite and her case is sent to the US consulate abroad for processing. Her husband is quickly scheduled for an interview and they are approved within 2 months.

If you are considering submitting an NVC expedite for financial hardship request, do it! There really isn’t a downside to submitting the request other than gathering all the evidence.

Looking to submit the expedite request to NVC? Do you think you have enough evidence to prove financial hardship? Let me know in the comments below.



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  1. Jaclyn R.

    This post has been super helpful and I will be requesting an NVC expedite due to extreme financial hardship as soon as I get my NVC case number.

  2. Hi Jaclyn,

    I’m glad you found this helpful! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your NVC expedite request is approved quickly! 🙂

  3. mari

    Hi Ayan, I was wondering if there’s any estimate on how long an expedite request takes before you hear back from the NVC? Should I expect a week? a month? should we be calling to check if they received the request?

    Thanks in advance this post has been super helpful!

  4. Hi Mari,

    Normally, NVC responds pretty quickly if you’ve submitted a complete expedite request. I would say a few weeks and no more than an a month. It doesn’t take long to review but this assumes that you submitted the expedite request with the I-130 petition. If you submitted it after you’ve already sent the I-130, then it can take a little longer because they will need to match your request to your petition first. Good luck!

  5. Qian

    I was actually approved for an expedite at the uscis stage due to financial hardship.. can I still request an expedite with NVC without a case number yet?

  6. Hi Qian,

    Yes, you can submit an expedite request without a case number but it may cause a delay because they will need to match it to your original petition. If you’ve already received NOA1 then you can use the receipt number when submitting your request. If you want to be sure, call NVC and ask them if you can submit the expedite request with another form of identification for your case.

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