US Visa Application Process

Basic types of Visas offered by the United States in India

The US embassy in India offers two kinds of Visas as listed below:

  • Non-immigrant Visas: There are various categories of Non-immigrant (temporary) Visas issued by the United States based on the purpose of your visit as listed below:
    • Tourism
    • Medical treatment
    • Business
    • Employment
    • Education

  • Immigrant Visas: United States issued a limited number of Immigrant Visas to foreign citizens who wish to live the United States permanently.

Official website for Visa application process

For details about the Visa application process to the United States in India, you have to log on to

Immigrant Visas

Foreign nationals who wish to live in the United States for keeps should acquire an immigrant Visa. If you wish to become a permanent resident of the United States, you should get an immigrant Visa. Immigrant Visa categories

As a foreign citizen, you need to be sponsored by any one of the following:

  • US citizen (family) (petition I-130 should be filed for an Alien Relative)
  • US permanent resident
  • Prospective employer

Your sponsor should kickstart the process of your immigration to the US by submitting a petition on your behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to the official website of the US Department of State, the maximum number of immigrant Visas are approved from the employment and family-based categories.

The following table shows details of the various categories of sponsors

Category Particulars
US citizen (family) Petition can be filed for the spouse, parent, daughter/ son and sister/brother 
U.S permanent resident Petition can be filed for unmarried daughter/son and spouse
U.S. employer Employer should file petition I-140 for Alien Worker for skilled workers

A U.S. citizen can file a petition on behalf of a foreign fiancé and an orphan (fiance has to get married in the US and the orphan adopted in the US)

US also offers ‘diversity Visas’ to citizens of countries which have low immigration rates. The said category of limited Visas are provided as per provisions of section 203(c) of INA (Immigration and Nationality Act)

Limited Immigrant Visas

It is important to note that the United States allows only a certain number of limited immigrant Visas every year for each country.

It is important to note that both the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi accept applications for immigrant Visas in India.

Applicants for immigrant Visas should complete the following procedures before attending the appointments at the Consulate.

  1. Get Police Clearance Certificate:You should get a Police Clearance Certificate duly issued from the Regional Passport Office. A Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is valid for one year from the issue date. You must submit a new PCC in case the one you had submitted is invalid. It is important to note that you should produce a PCC from a foreign country in case you lived there for over a year after attaining 18 years. In case you fail to submit a PCC, you will have to postpone your appointment at the Consulate.
  2. Medical test: You should complete the process of medical examination conducted by approved physicians.
  3. Fill out form DS 260 online: You should complete DS-260 form at You should have your Invoice ID Number and beneficiary ID number. The Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee Bill Invoice contains Beneficiary ID and Invoice ID numbers. Read the guidelines on completing form Ds 260 carefully before filling out the form as the call center cannot assist you on it.
  4. Print the confirmation page - DS 260
  5. Appointment categories
  6. Log in to and click on the option of Schedule Appointment. You should fix your appointments based on the following categories:

    Category Particulars
    Category 1 Appointment at Visa Application Center(VAC)The Kentucky Consular Center or National Visa Center set up your Visa interview
    Category 2 Consulate Appointment
    • Applying for Returning Resident status
    • Applying for Boarding Foil if you lose your green card
    Category 3 Consulate appointment and Visa Application Center
    • In case you missed your embassy appointment

    If you wish to apply for an immigrant Visa, you will have to follow the below mentioned procedures in terms of scheduling an appointment for getting your Visa approved.

    • Book Category 1 appointment: You have to download important instructions related to your Visa interview. Most of the immigrant Visa interviews in India are scheduled either by the National Visa Center or the Kentucky Consular Center. As an immigrant Visa applicant, you have to book an appointment - category 1 and get your fingerprints and photographs taken at your nearest Visa Application Center. Also, the biometric report has to be completed prior to your Visa interview.
    • Category 3 appointment for K Visa: The US consulate will send you an email to inform you if your petition is cleared. You will then have to download instructions related to your interview. In case, you are applying for a K Visa, you are required to book an appointment - category 3 and get your fingerprints and photographs taken at your nearest Visa Application Center. Your interview will be held at the US Consulate.
    • Category 2 appointment for SB-1 Visa: In case you are applying for Returning Resident or SB-1 Visa, you need to read information regarding the said Visa on the official website of Department of State. You have to fill out form DS 117, book an appointment - category 2 for an interview at the US Consulate.

    Missed appointments

    In case you missed your appointment at the US Consulate, you can reschedule a Category 3 appointment.


    Visa fees is non-refundable. You have to get a bank draft (rupee) in favour of ˜U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai and payable in Mumbai in case your appointment has not been set up via NVC. Also, please check the rate of exchange (consular) before your interview.

    Pending Immigrant Visas

    Under section Section 221(g) of the INA Act, your Visa application can be put on hold for lack of adequate information and documentation or in some cases, for further administrative processes.

    The following table shows steps to be taken under various conditions:

    Condition Solution
    Additional documentation Submit the required documents at any of the document drop-off centres orBook an appointment - Category 2
    Administrative processes Wait until further instructions from the US Consulate
    Pending case Shoot an email to
    Report fraud Send a mail to
  7. Choose a pickup location to get your passport
  8. You have to bring the following documents for your appointment at the Visa Application Centre
    • DS 260 confirmation
    • 1 photo in case an applicant is below 14 year
    • Confirmation of appointment (page)
    • A valid US passport (6 months more than your duration of stay)
    • Each individual with a Visa should submit a separate application
  9. You have to submit the following documents for your Visa interview at the US Consulate
    • Old and current passports
    • DS-260 confirmation
    • Medical report
    • Supporting documents
    • Police Clearance Certificate

How to apply for Non-immigrant Visas

The following procedures should be followed for applying for Non-immigrant Visas

  1. Visa Type: You should select your Visa type. Go through details of all the Nonimmigrant Visas

  2. DS-160: Fill out the DS-160 form which is an Electronic Application for Nonimmigrant Visa. Read the guidelines for filling out form DS-160. You cannot make changes after the said form is submitted. Also, the call center cannot assist you for completing your form DS-160. It is important to note that you require your DS 160 number to schedule appointment

  3. Visa fees: You should pay your Visa fee. Log on to the page on Payment Options to see how to make your Visa payment. Create your profile. You need your receipt number to book appointments

  4. Schedule Appointment: You should one appointment at the Visa Application Center (VAC) and another at the Consulate. You should get your photos and fingerprints taken at your nearest Visa Application Centre one day before the interview at the US Consulate. You need your passport number, 10-digit barcode number (DS-160 page) and fee receipt number to book an appointment

  5. Visa Application Centre appointment: The following documents have to be submitted for your appointment at the Visa Application Centre

    • DS-160 confirmation
    • A valid passport (6 months more than the duration of stay in the US)
    • Appointment confirmation page
    • 1 photo if applicant is below 14 years
  6. Visa interview at Consulate: You have to bring the following documents for your interview at the Consulate.

    • Old and current passports
    • DS 160 confirmation (page)
    • Appointment confirmation
    • Old and current passports


News about US Visa Application Process

  • US Visa Application Process For Penn Relays Has Begun

    All individuals planning to travel to the U.S. for Penn Relays can now start applying for the visa immediately, as the process has already begun and the event is just some weeks away. It applies to all the athletic group members willing to attend the event. However, visa cannot be applied together as a group.

    Although groups have a united reason to travel, every affiliate or member should qualify for the visa independently. A legal guardian or parent must accompany the applicant if he/she is a minor. Also, a legal guardian should be completely prepared to show the court documents that he/she is the real guardian.

    A primary factor an applicant should show to qualify for a U.S. visa is his/her strong ties with Jamaica. Yes, this sounds a little hard and gets difficult to establish their professional and personal lives but a lot of students still qualify for their visa every year.

    On the other hand, spectators can also participate in the Penn Relays by scheduling their appointments individually. Like all other non-immigrant visas, they must be completely prepared to clarify the respective consulate representative about financing their entire trip.

    22 March 2018

  • US Investment Limit Hike Plans May Reduce Indian EB-5 Requests

    As expert stated that as the United States of America is planning to increase the minimum investment for EB-5 visas to Up to $1.3 million. This move will most likely bring down the number of Indian EB-5 applications. Vice-president of India and the Middle East at immigration consultants CanAm Enterprises, Abhinav Lohia, stated that if the minimum investment limit is raised from $500,000 to $1.3 million, the number of EB-5 applications from India is most likely to reduce by around 80%.

    The time taken to become a citizen of US and get a Green Card is around 2 to 2.5 years through the EB-5 route. However, for others who hold other visas like H-1B it takes 10-15 years to get a Green Card.

    12 February 2018

  • US Visa application refusal rate increases for Indians

    A recent report revealed the increasing US Visa application refusal rate for Indian passport holders. The US Visa application refusal rate for Indians is higher than the refusal rate for Chinese applicants. The US administration under Trump’s presidency has already impacted the policies for various types of visas to the US, however, the increasing refusal rate could of prime concern for many Indian IT firms and H4 Visa holders with a job in the US.

    2 January 2018

  • Oman eases visa policies to attract more tourists

    Oman has recently eased the visa policies to attract tourists from Indian, China, and Russia. If the Oman Visa applicant already has a resident or entry visa to UK, US, Canada, Australia or Schengen countries, he/she will be granted a non-sponsored tourist visa. Moreover, the visa holder’s spouse and children will also be allowed to visit Oman as long as the necessary travel documents are furnished. With the changes to the visa policies, Oman is expecting an exponential growth in the tourism sector,

    26 October 2017

  • Illegal immigrants from Asia to U.S on rise

    The Trump government’s decision to cancel Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has brought in massive stress among the all illegal immigrants. Currently, there are around 11 million undocumented residents in U.S, and most of them are from India. The DACA policy that was launched in 2012 by Obama Government has been struck down by Trump administration in September 2017.

    Since the early 90s there has been rapid influx of Indians in U.S. While some overstayed due to the expiry of their work VISA or student VISA, many are stuck due to the broken marriage. The consequences are that these immigrants don’t have the nine-digit social security number now, which is impeding them to avail university scholarship and work on a campus legally. Along with India, there are immigrants from Mexico and China.

    26 October 2017

  • Experts Advise Companies to Start Visa Process 8 Months Ahead

    At the Select USA summit held recently, a panel of experts advised foreigners who intend to carry out business in the U.S. to start the visa process ahead of time. The process should begin 6 months to 8 months at a local consulate. Submitting visa applications and related paperwork early will prove to be a money saver and the most cost-effective strategy for companies. In the last year, 85% of the business visa applications were approved. It's important to seek answers from the consular affairs officials to ensure the visa application is correct and under the appropriate programme. This will help entrepreneurs avoid being rejected. For the H-1B visa applicable to international job seekers, there is a ceiling of 61,000 visas per year, however, the U.S. Government receives more than 250,000 applications under this category. Apart from the applicant being cautious while applying for a visa, the government also needs to be efficient in issuing visas. These measures will foster economic growth.

    22 June 2016

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