US changes Indian visa procedures

To benefit Indians applying for business visas to America, the US State Department will expedite processing time.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 13:36 IST

In moves that may benefit Indians applying for business visas to visit America, the US State Department and Department of Homeland have announced a number of steps to expedite the processing time for visas.

According to the State Department, overseas American diplomatic posts are now working closely with local US Chambers of Commerce in over 100 countries "to expedite the visa process for bonafide business travellers."

It has also established a Business Visa Centre to lessen the waiting time for visa appointments for visitors and all American Embassies and Consulates have established procedures to expedite the processing of business visas.

The Departments of State and Homeland Security have also announced changes to the length of time foreign students may be issued student visas and arrive in the US before their academic session begins.

Under the new scheme, student visas will be issued up to 120 days ahead and holders will be allowed entry 45 days in advance of studies. Earlier student visas were issued only in advance of 90 days and a student allowed only a 30 day window for entry ahead of the start of academic studies.

The two federal departments have also announced that they will align travel document application processes by creating what is known as a Global Enrollment Network so that the data first captured of an applicant can be viewed by both the Homeland Security and State Department officials.

First Published: Jan 18, 2006 13:36 IST