September 7, 2012 -
The United States Embassy in India has recently announced a new procedure for issuing travel visas that includes biometric capture.
The new visa processing system is designed to help first time applicants get their visas with less chance for delay. The new procedure however may require applicants to make at least two appointments to complete the process. The announcement was made September 5, but the new system will take effect on September 26.
First time applicants will initially have to make an appointment at the nearest Offsite Facilitation Center in their region or district for biometrics and photo collection. These centers were intentionally placed away from the embassy and consulates in order to reduce congestion. Offsite Facilitation Centers will be located in Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.
Applicants make appointments by either going online and visiting a new Web site, or by calling the designated call centers. The Offsite Facilitation Center will facilitate fee payment and scheduling for an additional appointment to the embassy or consulate, if required. Most applicants are expected to make the visit once so long as their papers are in order and the centers are not congested.
Those who are seeking to renew their visas will not need to apply for an appointment or visit an Offsite Facilitation Center.
Will the placement of Offsite Facilitation Centers entice more Indians to apply for US visas?