|By Sai | September 13, 2012|
US Consulate Updates on New Visa Processing System | Fee payment, appointment scheduling simplified | United States Visa procedure website
Hyderabad: As part of the US Department of State’s continuing efforts to streamline the visa process worldwide, U.S. Embassy and Consulates across India are implementing a new visa processing system that will further standardize the procedures and will simplify fee payment and appointment scheduling through the new website at www.ustraveldocs.com/in.
Beginning September 26, US 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, US consulate said in a press release.
For the first time, 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.
Visa applicants will be able to contact us via telephone, email, or online chat. Call center agents in Noida and Hyderabad will answer questions in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, and Telugu.
US Consulate 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 send email in English or Hindi at email@example.com, or they can chat with directly from the website (www.ustraveldocs.com/in) during call center hours.
One important change is that 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 their fingerprints and a photo.
Located apart from the Embassy and Consulates in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, the OFCs will reduce congestion at our consular facilities and speed applicant processing. Most applicants will need to visit an OFC only once.
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 new processing system, an increasing number of applicants will be able to complete all visa requirements without having to visit a US Embassy or Consulate at all.
Source: Press Release
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