本文作者：Yevgeny （Eugene） Samokhleb
After an immigrant applicant’s petition is approved by USCIS, their case is transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC), which collects each family member’s personal information and sends the case for interview scheduling at a U.S. consulate overseas. Cases are assigned by default to the U.S. consulate in the primary applicant’s country of birth. However, applicants may request to transfer their case for interviewing in another country. This is called a change of venue. There are 4 options for venue: (1) country of birth of the primary applicant, (2) country of birth of the primary applicant’s spouse, (3) country of residence of the primary applicant, or (4) country of nationality of the primary applicant, if different from the country of birth.
To request a case be transferred, evidence of the above criteria must be submitted to NVC. To process a case based on country of birth or nationality requires submission of proof of such country of birth or nationality, which typically includes a birth certificate or passport. To process a case based on residence, the primary applicant must submit sufficient evidence that he or she actually resides in the requested country. This requires proof of address and long-term valid immigration status (not just as a tourist) in that country.
If an applicant decides to change venue for consular processing to another country after the NVC has already transferred the case to the original consulate for interview scheduling, then the change of venue process can become complex. The original consulate must consent to transfer the case, and the newly requested consulate must consent to accept it.
It is important to note that consular venue is distinct from country chargeability. As discussed above, venue refers to the country in which the immigrant interview takes place. Chargeability refers to the country queue from which the applicant and his or her family members will obtain visas. While venue may be based on birth, residence, or nationality, chargeability is based only on the country of birth.
However, if a husband and wife were born in different countries, they may use each other’s immigration chargeability. An applicant who is born in one country may request to be charged to the visa queue of the spouse’s country of birth, which may often help to bypass a long visa wait.