U.S. Embassy in India announces new visa processing system

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC – September 17, 2012 The U.S. Embassy in India is implementing a new visa processing system throughout the country. It will standardize procedures and simplify fee payment and appointment scheduling through a new website, www.ustraveldocs.com.

Applicants will be able to schedule appointments online or by phone. The new system will allow companies and travel agents to purchase multiple fee receipts for group travel, and it accommodates the scheduling of group and emergency appointments.

Under the new system applicants will have to make two appointments. Prior to their visa interviews, applicants will have to visit an Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to submit fingerprints and a photo. It is hoped that this will reduce congestion at consular facilities. Most applicants will need to visit an OFC only once.

Beginning September 26 visa applicants will be able to pay application fees by Electronic Fund Transfer, mobile phone, or in cash at a designated bank. Applicants will be able to have their questions answered by phone, email, or online chat. Call center staff will answer questions in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, or Telugu.

The Department of State hopes that, in conjunction with its Interview Waiver Program introduced in March, some applicants will be able to complete all visa requirements without having to visit a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

© Jewell & Associates, PC 2012