What is a CEAC Case Status?

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on April 29, 2022

Since the digitization of the visa application process by the United States government, CEAC has become an important part of the process. If you’ve never heard of CEAC, then you’re not alone. As a visa applicant, you need to be familiar with CEAC, its concept, and its uses. In this article, we’ll walk you through CEAC and how you can use it for tracking your visa application.

What is the Consular Electronic Applications Center (CEAC)?

In case you’re not familiar with CEAC or Consular Electronic Application Center, it is an online portal used by the US Department of State to communicate with immigrants about their visa process. Prior to this, the visa application, approval, denial, and correction requirements were communicated via telephones and mails. But with the introduction of this system, DOL adopted the paperless practice. Besides communicating, the CEAC is used for fees processing, forms submission, and document submission. Later, you and your legal representatives can track the status of your US visa application.

Since the CEAC deals with sensitive and personal documents, it is highly secured with high standards of encryption technology used. So once you upload your documents into this portal, you can be sure that they are in safe hands. The CEAC is also used by other departments like the National Visa Center and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to communicate matters and provide required knowledge.

Why CEAC Visa Status Matters

From September 2013 onwards, every non-citizen seeking entry into the US must file an immigration petition using the Form DS-260 (Online Immigrant Visa Application & Alien Registration) and DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent). Both of them have to be filed online. For checking purposes, the place of your interview is recorded into the system as well along with other minute details. All of this data is updated into the CEAC database after a few months.

But in certain cases, more information is required for processing applications. After the introduction of CEAC, everything is communicated through the portal. This means you won’t be getting any calls or emails from USCIS regarding a shortage of information. Thus it is advised to check your CEAC visa status intermittently and keep track of the process. USCIS usually updates the database as your application process proceeds. Not doing so can result in delays or even cancellation.

How to Check Your CEAC Visa Status

Checking your visa status on CEAC is easy and straightforward. To get started, you’d need to visit the portal and navigate to the status check page. Click here to get redirected. At the page, you’d need to input your USCIS Receipt Number, Name, DOB, and the location. Once you have the credentials, you can log into the system and check your CEAC Visa status. The portal can be used for both immigrant and non-immigrant visas. After you log into the portal, you’ll see one of the following statuses:

No Status

You will get “No Status” if the interview hasn’t taken place till now or the same hasn’t been updated into the database. 

Ready

If you see this status, then it means that further information like fingerprints and photographs are required to take the application process forward. This is mostly taken in an interview. So, an interview can be scheduled shortly.

At NVC

This means your case or the DS 260 form has not been submitted yet and is held at the National Visa Center. 

In Transit

Your case has reached the United States Embassy and an interview will be scheduled shortly. 

Issued

The visa process is already completed and awaiting final approval.

Refused

This indicates your application has been refused. For further clarification on the same, you can contact the US authority that handled the interview process.

Administrative Process

This status indicates your case demands more information and checks. After the visa interview, this can add another 60 days to the processing time. Authorities will contact you if they require more documents or need to schedule another interview.

Expired

Expired status indicates that your visa status has been canceled. This is either due to a change of status or your visa has expired. Your application can be reinstated if you can demonstrate that the reason for failure to pursue the immigration visa was out of your control. But you’d only have one year to do so.

Expiring Soon

If you do not apply for an immigrant visa within one year of being notified, then it will lead to cancellation of registration. Any application approved on your behalf will be canceled if USCIS doesn’t hear back from you within one year.

Mistakes to Avoid

When checking your CEAC Visa status, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not checking it regularly. All the details will become available on the portal after 2-3 months of applying. So if you’ve applied on October 1, the portal will start showing your status by January 1.

Since any additional documentation required will be communicated through the portal, you’ll miss these notifications if you do not check the portal in the first place. Actions are required for each status. So you will miss out on them as well.

While checking your status, it’s important to understand what it means. Therefore, always refer to the aforementioned status explanation when you get confused.

Failing to schedule an interview is another costly mistake that can lead to rejection of your application.

CEAC Visa Status FAQ

Here we have answered some of the questions you may have about CEAC Visa Status

How can I check my CEAC visa status?

You can check the status online by visiting the CEAC system portal and logging in your credentials. Alternatively, you can contact the NVC by phone. For telephonic inquiries, you’ll be requiring your barcode and personal details.

What does “ready” status mean?

This means that your application has passed the initial screening and an interview will be scheduled shortly.

What does the “Return to NVC” code mean?

This indicates that there was a problem while processing your application and it has been sent back to the National Visa Center. You’re also required to get in touch with the NVC.

What is needed at the interview?

As a bare minimum, you’ll be asked for your ID proof, passport, fees receipt, supporting documents, and a printout of the application confirmation page.

How long does it take to get the application processed?

There isn’t any specific time frame and it largely depends on the type of visa, your native country, and the volume of applicants.

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Conclusion

While the process is simple, not everyone possesses the same level of computer literacy. If you lack basic computer knowledge, it is advised to get in touch with someone who knows or apply with an experienced immigration attorney. Once it is approved, you’re not required to make follow-ups in the portal.


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