In an effort to improve consular services and meet the increasing demand for U.S. visas, the U.S. Embassy in India is implementing two new programs. One program will allow many nonimmigrant visa applicants at U.S. Consulates or U.S. Embassies in India to complete all the requirements for a visa renewal without needing to visit an embassy or consulate. A separate new system will streamline and standardize the procedures associated with the process for all applicants, including those who must still attend interviews.
Interview Waiver Program
Under the new Interview Waiver Program (IWP), certain nonimmigrant applicants at any U.S. Consular office or U.S. Embassy in India who were interviewed in conjunction with a previously approved visa application will be allowed to renew their visa without undergoing another interview.
For an applicant to qualify for an interview waiver under the IWP, the following criteria must be met:
Embassies and consulates in India have been instructed to begin implementing this pilot program immediately. Consular officers will retain the authority to interview any applicant who they determine requires a personal appearance.
New Visa Processing System
In addition to the IWP, the U.S. Embassy in India has also announced a new website, which will streamline appointment scheduling, simplify fee payments and provide new delivery options. In addition to facilitating payment of visa application fees and providing information about required documents for visa interviews, the website will allow applicants to schedule their appointments online or by phone for the first time. The new system will also include more payment options, including payment by Electronic Fund Transfer or mobile phone.
One important difference from the current system is that first-time applicants will need to make two appointments. One appointment will be for fingerprint collection, and one for a consular interview. Applicants will have to visit an Offsite Facilitation Center to submit their fingerprints and a photo prior to the visa interview.
Get more details in the press release.