Pilot project: US visa without an interview | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Pilot project: US visa without an interview

As part of its continuing efforts to streamline the US visa process, the American embassy is implementing a pilot program that will allow certain qualified individuals to apply for visas without being interviewed in person by a US consular officer.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 21, 2012 22:24 IST
HT Correspondent

As part of its continuing efforts to streamline the US visa process, the American embassy is implementing a pilot program that will allow certain qualified individuals to apply for visas without being interviewed in person by a US consular officer.



"We expect this program, one of the travel and tourism initiatives President Obama announced in January, will benefit thousands of visa applicants in India," said the embassy spokesperson Peter Vrooman.



The new process will apply to applicants renewing full-validity visas, if the visa is still valid or expired within the past 48 months, and is within certain categories such as business/tourism (B1 and/or B2);transit (C); and crew member (D).The renewal application must be within the same classification as the previous visa.



Not all applications will be accepted for streamlined processing. As always, consular officers may interview any visa applicant in any category. Applicants who are renewing their visas may still need to make an appointment for biometrics (fingerprint) collection, and all applicants must submit all required fees and the DS-160 application form.



This initiative is one of many steps the department of state is taking to meet increased visa demand in India. In 2011, consular officers in India processed more than 670,000 nonimmigrant visa applications, an increase of more than 11 percent over the previous year.



Presently, applicants wait less than ten days for visa interview appointments, spend less than one hour at our consular facilities, and in more than 97 percent of cases, receive their visas within 24 hours.



For more details about procedures for submitting an application, visit the web site (

http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/

) or the VFS website (

https://www.vfs-usa.co.in

).