The US Embassy in India has set-up a new website, www.USTravelDocs.com/in, that will employ a new visa processing system and streamline all visa processing in India. The site will supply supplementary standardization for the system, as well as facilitate monetary payments and scheduling. Applicants will now be able to pay fees using Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and using mobile phones.
With this new website, applicants are able to make appointments online or with a telephone call. This restructuring will also allow companies and travel agents to book tickets for groups. Applicants can talk to a center agent by phone, email or online chat, and can speak in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil and Telugu. The call center numbers are (91-120) 660-2222 or (91-22) 6720-9400 in India or 1-310-616-5424 in the United States.
However, the appointment process has changed: applicants will have to schedule two appointments. Prior to the visa interview, applicants will have to go to an Office Facilitation Center (OFC) to be photographed and fingerprinted. OFCs are separate from US Consulates and the Embassy in order to increase fluidity in the process and reduce traffic.
This past March, the Interview Waiver Program (IWP) was established by US Mission India to allow certain people to be waived for personal interviews. With IWP and the reformed visa processing system, applicants can fulfill all visa prerequisites without going to a US Embassy or Consulate. With this streamlined system, applicants will be interviewed within 10 days of scheduling an interview.
The Indian US Embassy’s continued efforts to standardize their visa procedures will ultimately benefit applicants, allowing for an easier application process and shorter wait period for obtaining visas.
See you in my next blog.
Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Lowenbaum Partnership, LLC
St. Louis, Missouri
The information is not meant to create a client-attorney relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Situations may differ based on the facts.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
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