Obtaining a spouse visa to immigrate to the United States is a two-step process. The first step is the spouse petition, filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS. The second step is the immigrant visa application, filed with the National Visa Center or NVC, a branch of the U.S. Department of State. The NVC begins the immigrant visa processing stage of the case after the initial spouse petition is approved by the USCIS. After the NVC completes its processing of the case, the applicant is scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. If all goes well, the Embassy or Consulate will typically print and issue the visa within five business days following the immigrant visa interview. The overall spouse visa processing time, from the filing of the initial spouse petition to the issuance of the immigrant visa, typically ranges from nine to twelve months.