New Delhi: The United States (US) is working on making the visa application process simplifier for the Indians. Starting September 1, 2019, certain applicants can apply for a waiver from the mandatory interview. It may be noted that this will make the visa application process shorter for the Indians.
According to the US Consulate, the initiative is aimed to reduce turnaround times for visa renewals and improve the customer service for visa applicants across India, as per the communication to travel agent association.
The important thing to note here is that all those applicants who are renewing their US visa, which is subject to certain conditions, and children below the age of 14, senior citizens above the age of 79, are eligible to qualify for an interview waiver. Starting next month (September 1, 2019), this is can be done while applying for a US visa.
However, the US consulate and VFS Global (which processes US visa applications in India), did not reply to an email for comments sought till Wednesday, according to a national daily.
In its communication, the US Consulate stated that from September 1, all the applicants who are eligible must schedule an appointment date so that passport and visa applications materials can be left at one of its 11 locations in the country. After that, a visa application centre employee will review the checklist of the documents before accepting the application for delivery to the US Embassy or to the Consulate.
In seven to 10 days of the submission, applicants will receive a decision on their case. According to the consulate, there could be cases in which an applicant must appear for an interview.
“If the applicant is required to come in for an interview, he or she must travel to the post selected for interview waiver processing,” it said in its communication. “Once documents are submitted, it is not possible to transfer cases between posts. Applicants who must appear for an interview will be notified on how to proceed,” according to a copy of the communication accessed by the financial daily.
In India, the US visa application centres are present in New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Pune and Ahmedabad. As per the US Travel Association, the US’ share of the global travel market is on a four year low since its previous high of 13.7 per cent in the year 2015, sliding t 11.7 per cent in the year 2018.
This slump in market share represents losses to the US economy of 14 million international visitors, 59 billion dollar in international traveler spending and 1.2 lakh jobs, it said.