US embassy announces simpler visa processing measures
7 September, 2012: Indians planning to visit the US will now have the benefit of simpler procedures for paying the visa fees and scheduling appointments from 26 September this year.
As per the new rules/procedures:
- US visa applicants from India can now pay application fees through Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), through mobile phones, or in cash at any one of the around 1800 Axis Bank branches.
- Appointments for visa interviews or for biometrics collection can be scheduled online by logging on to www.ustraveldocs.com/in or over the phone. The new website is available in English and Hindi and has detailed information about applying for a US visa.
- Within one hour of paying the application fees, applicants will receive a text message about the activation of their fee receipt, after which they can go ahead and schedule their appointment.
- Passports, visas, and other documents will be delivered to 33 document pick-up locations across India within one week at any of the locations chosen by the applicant at no extra charge. Applicants will also receive notifications through SMS or email once their documents are ready to be picked up.
- First time US visa applicants from India will now have to schedule two appointments on two different days- one for fingerprints and photo collection at an Offsite Facilitation Centre (OFC) and one for the visa interview.
- All visa-related queries can be answered in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Telugu, and Tamil via phone (91-120- 660-2222, 91-22-6720-9400 in India and 1-310-616-5424 in the US) between 8 am and 8 pm from Monday to Friday and between 9 am and 6 pm on Sunday. Indian applicants can also send an email in English or Hindi to firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can chat directly from the website (www.ustraveldocs.com/in) during call centre hours.