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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsThe American Visa Process: Update on the National Vetting Center

The American Visa Process: Update on the National Vetting Center

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are going to be talking a little more at length about the so-called National Vetting Center which is a Trump program that seems to be coming online relatively quickly. In a prior video on this channel, we discussed some of the preliminary issues that were surrounding it, some of the discussions that was surrounding it but now it has been signed into law and it looks like this is something that is going to come online very quickly.

In a recent announcement dated February 6th, 2018 from the Department of Homeland Security directly, I am not quoting the entire thing, you can basically google Department of Homeland Security, the National Vetting Center and you can probably pull up this press release very quickly but it is at The release date February 6 2018: Quoting directly, "on February 6, 2017 Donald J. Trump signed the National Security Presidential memorandum to establish a National Vetting Center." I think that is a typo, I think they mean February 6th, 2018 but perhaps it could be from last year and maybe it wasn't implemented until this year. Skipping forward in this memo, I'm not going to read the whole thing, I urge viewers to read it all for themselves, I am just going to stick to some salient points here. ”The ad-hoc nature of current federal vetting efforts impedes our ability to keep up with today's threats. The President's National Security Presidential Memorandum directs Federal departments and agencies to improve their coordination and use of intelligence and other information to identify potential threats to the National Security or to Homeland Security or public safety. As part of these efforts, the administration will establish the NVC led by the Department of Homeland Security which will coordinate vetting efforts throughout the federal government and apply an integrated approach that leverages relevant information from across the nation's National Security apparatus consistent with Law & policy. The President has directed the development of an implementation plan to operationalize the NVC, ensure it receives appropriate support from departments and agencies and set up the National Vetting Governance Board. The implementation plan must be developed within the next 6 months”.

Okay interesting stuff here. First of all as noted in the prior video, this NVC should not be confused with the National Visa Center which is a Department under the, or I should say it's an agency under the US Department of State which basically acts as a clearing house for approved petitions being forwarded to US Embassies and Consulates abroad for further processing and presumably ultimately the visa issuance. The National Vetting Center is something interesting. We simply do not know how exactly this is going to impact the overall visa process; we also don't know how it is going to impact sort of the internal workings of processing of visa petitions within USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security. From preliminary information it would seem to be just sort of an exponentially improved security threat assessment apparatus within DHS. It doesn't look like it's going to be something that becomes a particular component within and of itself, within the Visa process. But that remains to be seen, I can't say that for certain I am simply speculating based on what I am reading. Further, it remains to be seen whether or not this National Vetting Center is going to have a role with respect to non-immigrant visas such as tourist visas, student visas, exchange visitor visa etc. basically visas, the application for which are entirely processed abroad. At this point it remains to be seen whether or not this apparatus is going to have an impact on those visas. If it does, that could substantially change the tourist visa application process and I suspect, no matter what happens here, we are probably looking at the situation where the implementation or the operationalization of this new agency will probably have an overall impact on processing time associated with petitions for US visas and other sort of benefits associated with immigration. So we will keep you updated as things progress but for now it looks like we're looking at about a countdown of about 5 months before this National Vetting Center, or I should say NVC or DHS NVC comes online so probably some time I suspect around June /July 2018 we're going to see this thing operationalized. Again that remains to be seen. A lot can happen between now and then but if it should come online I suspect it's going to have a rather substantial impact on the overall immigration process.