The U.S. Embassy in India announced it is implementing a new visa processing system throughout India. Effective September 26, 2012, the new system features improved standardized procedures and simplified fee payment and appointment scheduling through a new website at www.ustraveldocs.com/in. This new website, available in English and Hindi, will allow visa applicants to fill out application forms, find out what documents are required, pay visa application fees, schedule an appointment for biometrics collection, and schedule an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Specifically, the new visa processing system includes the following:
• U.S. visa applicants will be able to pay application fees via Electronic Fund Transfer(EFT) or with their mobile phones. They can also pay in cash at more than 1,800 Axis bank branches.
• Applicants will be able to schedule their appointments online or by phone. The new system will also allow companies and travel agents to purchase multiple fee receipts for group travel, and it accommodates the scheduling of group and emergency appointments.
• Applicants will be able to have their questions answered via telephone, email, or online chat. Call center agents in Noida and Hyderabad will answer questions in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, and Telugu. Call centers will be open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sunday. The numbers are (91-120) 660-2222 or (91-22) 6720-9400 in India or 1-310-616-5424 in the United States. Applicants can email in English or Hindi at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can chat with the consulate directly from its website (www.ustraveldocs.com/in) during call center hours.
• Applicants will have to make two appointments. Prior to their visa interviews, applicants will have to visit an Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to submit their fingerprints and a photo. In March, the U.S. Mission in India introduced the Interview Waiver Program (IWP) that allows applicants who meet certain criteria to be considered for waivers of personal interviews. Under the IWP and the new processing system, an increasing number of applicants will be able to complete all visa requirements without having to visit a U.S. Embassy or Consulate at all.
For information about the visa application process, please visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com. To receive regular updates, follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/India.usembassy.