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Travel Insurance for USA, Plans starting
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* Price shown is for a 90 day trip to USA with 50,000 dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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US Visa Appointment

Known for its rigid immigration laws and documentation, the US visa doesn’t end at application submission. It is followed by the intensive US visa appointment process, which can make or break the American Dream. Find everything related to the US visa appointment & interview- one of the most crucial parts of the US visa process.

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Plans for an individual of 30 years age travelling to USA for 15 days

Key Highlights

US visa procedure can be daunting for many people, especially first-time US visa applicants. Depending on the Take a look at some quick facts related to the US appointment process:

Category Specification
Appointment Waiting Period F1: 58-78 days
B1/B2: 247-680 days
Expedited Appointment Available for Emergencies
US Visa Interview Waiver (Non-immigrant) For Applicants below 14 years & above 80 years

How to Book an Appointment for US Visa

After applying for a non-immigrant or immigrant visa for the US, applicants must schedule an appointment at the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) to submit their documents and appear for the visa interview. They also need to submit the completed printed version of the US visa application and visit the consulate for biometrics.

The steps to book a US visa appointment are fairly easy and have been listed below:

Step 1: Go to the official website.

Step 2: Existing users can log in using ID and password. New users can register and proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Select the option ‘New Application/Schedule an Appointment’ at the top left part of the home page.

Step 4: There will be an option to select between ‘Immigrant’ and ‘Non-immigrant’ Visa. Click on the applicable visa. Select the State of Residence you are applying from. This will determine your Post of Interview automatically.

Step 5: You will be asked to select the language of the interview. Pick the language you prefer among the available options.

Step 6: Select the appropriate visa category. The following options are available:

  • Business/Tourism and all other visas
  • Crew
  • Students
  • J-exchange visa
  • L1 (Blanket)
  • Employment-based visas

Step 7: Choose the applicable visa class, such as B1/B2/F1/J1 and so on.

Step 8: Verify all the answers that you have provided, as no changes are allowed later. After verification, click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Step 9: You will see a list of terms and conditions. Read them carefully and click on the ‘I accept Terms and Conditions’ button.

Step 10: You will be directed to an online form requiring your personal data. Fill in the correct personal information. After filling in the correct information, click on ‘Continue’. The following information needs to be provided to proceed with the US appointment booking:

  • Passport number
  • Passport issuance date
  • Passport issuance place
  • Passport expiration date in MM/DD/YY
  • Nationality
  • Name
  • Country of birth
  • Gender
  • DS-160 Confirmation Number
  • Phone/mobile number
  • Email ID
  • Mailing address
  • Program details (University/Company name, University Zip code. Etc. related to your university or place of work)

Step 11: If you have any dependents, then add them by clicking on the ‘Add by Name’ button. Then click on ‘Continue’

Step 12: There will be some personal questions related to your previous visa, any visa cancellations, any visa theft, US visa refusal etc. Answer them and click on next.

Step 13: Once the questions end, you will be directed to ‘Drop-off’ or ‘Interview’. Click on interview.

Step 14: Select the mode of delivery. You can choose between ‘Pick-up’ and ‘Premium Delivery’. You will need to mention the Mailing address along with the mailing postal code.

Step 12: You will be directed to the US Visa application fee portal. Depending on the type of visa, your fee amount will vary. You will see a pop-up regarding an important note for the US visa fee. Read it carefully before heading to the US visa fee payment. Click on ‘Confirm’.

Step 13: Choose your preferred mode of payment between NEFT/IMPS/Over the counter for the banks assigned.

Step 14: Print the receipt or applicable form and note down important information such as IFSC code, Unique Beneficiary Account Number, etc. You will also get a receipt number, which you must note down, for booking your US Visa appointment slot.

Step 15: On clicking next, provide the receipt number and proceed to the ‘Schedule OFC appointment’. Select the earliest available day and slot, depending on your availability.

Important US Visa Scheduling Tips

  • Slot booking is for the city designated earlier while filling the form, also known as the post of interview.
  • Appointment wait time for US Visa will differ with different embassy/consulate in India. For example, the waiting time for B1/B2 US Visa at Delhi Embassy is 247 days whereas it is 680 in Chennai.
  • If scheduling for US visa appointment at a location different from your state of residence, make sure to check the non-resident wait times.
  • US Visa wait time is very long so apply for your visa well in advance.

Documents Required for US Visa Appointment

These are the supporting documents for scheduling the non-immigrant US visa appointment:

  • Indian passport valid for over 6 months beyond the intended date of departure from the US. If going with dependents, then each person must submit a separate set of documents.
  • If your photo upload has failed while completing the online DS-160, then bring a photo along.
  • MRV (Non-immigration visa application) fee payment receipt
  • DS-160 confirmation page

Additional Documents for US Visa Appointment

  • Documents related to the visa class (as applicable), for example, SEVIS fee receipt if applying for a F-1 US visa for students.
  • Trip itinerary to state the purpose of your trip
  • Financial ability to visit and stay in the US

The list of required documents will vary with visa category. For example, some students may need to buy travel insurance for students as per their university requirements. Make sure to go through the official website and prepare the documents accordingly.

How to Book Expedited US Visa Appointment

US Visa applicants can also request an expedited visa appointment in case of urgent travel through the official online appointment system. However, they must already have a confirmed interview appointment date so that they can request an expedited appointment.

Since the USCICS considers expedited requests on a case-to-case basis, you should meet their eligibility criteria. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The USCIS may need additional documents proving your urgency
  • The decision is solely based on the USCIS’s discretion
  • Urgent criteria include severe financial loss, urgent humanitarian reasons, death in a family, critical medical treatment etc.
  • Expedited US Appointment requests are not granted for graduation ceremonies, attending weddings, academic conferences, last-minute tourism etc.

Like other US visa appointments, you can apply for an expedited appointment after paying the visa fee. If your request is approved, you will get instructions via email. It’s strongly recommended that you don’t cancel your existing appointment date and slot unless your request has been granted and you receive a confirmation of the approval. If there are no updates about approval or denial, then it means that your request is under consideration.

As expedited appointments for US visas have limited slots, there is a high volume of requests. Not all travellers can be accommodated even if their purpose of travel is urgent or time-sensitive.

Tips to Prepare for Visa Appointment (2023)

It can be overwhelming to appear for an interview that will lead to the US visa decision after waiting for months. Here are some tips to help prepare for the visa appointment for the United States:

  • Review the Official Guidelines

    Visit the official website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in India and carefully read the instructions and requirements for your specific visa category. Make sure you understand the process and have all the necessary documents.

  • Complete the DS-160 Form Carefully

    The DS-160 form is a crucial part of the US visa application process and it requires detailed information about your background, purpose of travel, and other relevant details. The officer during your visa appointment will ask questions about your purpose of travel and may ask for clarification. Providing different answers or contradictory information will affect your visa decision.

  • Prepare for the US Visa Interview

    Familiarise yourself with common interview questions and practice your responses. Be ready to explain the purpose of your trip. You will also need to convince them that you intend to return home, so ensure that you demonstrate your ties to India. Also, work on providing any necessary supporting evidence. Dress professionally and arrive on time for your appointment.

  • Be Honest and Confident

    Answer the questions asked by the officer honestly and confidently during the visa interview. Provide clear and concise responses, and avoid providing unnecessary or excessive information unless specifically asked.

  • Demonstrate Ties to India

    It's important to show that you intend to return after your visit to the United States. This can include evidence of stable employment, family ties, property ownership, or any other commitments that would motivate your return. Proving that you have strong ties to India and are only visiting to fulfil your purpose, i.e. study, tourism, work, etc.

  • Be Prepared for Additional Processing

    In some cases, additional administrative processing may be required. This can lengthen the visa approval process, and you may need to wait longer for a response. Be patient and cooperative if this happens, and provide any requested documents promptly.

    If you don't receive a decision on your visa application within a reasonable time frame, you can inquire about its status through the embassy or consulate's designated channels. Make sure to buy travel insurance including trip cancellation benefits so that any flight and booking costs can be reimbursed if the US visa is rejected. Remember that these tips are general guidelines, and it's important to refer to the official instructions provided by the U.S. embassy or consulate for your specific situation.

US Visa Appointment in India: FAQs

  • Q: How can I speed up my U.S. visa process?

    Ans: You can request a faster US visa processing by filing an expedition request. After applying for the visa and booking the earliest possible US visa appointment slot, you can request for expedited US visa appointment if you are eligible.
  • Q: Which US embassy in India has the shortest wait time?

    Ans: The shortest wait time for US tourist and business visas is at the US Embassy in New Delhi. It has a wait time of 247 days for a B1/B2 US visa.
  • Q: Can I get a B2 US visa appointment in India without waiting for 1 year?

    Ans: Wait times at Mumbai and Kolkata are under 1 year, so those eligible for that post of the interview can expect a shorter wait time.
  • Q: How many times should I open visa slots in a day?

    Ans: For non-immigrant applicants, USA visa appointments can be rescheduled 4 times after the initial appointment.
  • Q: Is there any US visa interview waiver for Indians?

    Ans: Yes, a US visa interview waiver is available for certain categories of applicants. As of now, a US interview waiver is available for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, M, O, P and Q US visas for Indians.

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* Price shown is for a 90 day trip to USA with 50,000 dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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