Once the marriage petition is approved by the USCIS, the marriage petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). Assuming the petitioner is a U.S. citizen, the NVC performs a background check of your foreign spouse, collects immigrant visa and affidavit of support fees and documents, processes the immigrant visa application and provides instruction regarding the interview and the required medical examination. After processing is complete, the NVC schedules an interview and forwards the petition, immigrant visa application and documents to the United States embassy or consulate nearest your foreign spouse’s foreign residence. If the petitioner is a permanent resident (as opposed to a U.S. citizen) then the marriage petition will remain at the NVC until an immigrant visa number becomes available. The wait time can be years.