Beginning today, the United States Embassy in India will begin using a new visa processing system throughout India that is intended to standardize procedures, as well as simplify fee payment and appointment scheduling through a new website: www.ustraveldocs.com/in.
Perhaps the most important change is that under the new processing system, applicants will be required to make two appointments. Before the visa interview, applicants will need to visit an Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to submit photographs and biometrics. These OFCs are offsite, so applicants will need to plan accordingly. This is being done with the intention of reducing congestion at consular facilities and enhancing applicant processing timeframes.
The good news is that most applicants will only need to visit an OFC one time. Because of India’s Interview Waiver Program (IWP), which allows applicants who meet certain criteria to be considered for waivers of personal interviews, an increasing number of applicants will be able to complete all visa requirements without having to schedule an in-person interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
As part of this new visa processing system, U.S. visa applicants can now pay application fees and schedule appointments with mobile phones. The new system will also allow companies and travel agencies to purchase multiple fee receipts for group travel and emergency appointments.
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