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:
- Medical treatment
- 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 http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/index.html?firstTime=No.
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
|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.
- 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.
- Medical test: You should complete the process of medical examination conducted by approved physicians.
- Fill out form DS 260 online: You should complete DS-260 form at https://ceac.state.gov/ceac. 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.
- Print the confirmation page - DS 260
- Appointment categories
- Applying for Returning Resident status
- Applying for Boarding Foil if you lose your green card
- In case you missed your embassy appointment
Log in to www.ustraveldocs.com/in and click on the option of ‘Schedule Appointment’. You should fix your appointments based on the following categories:
|Category 1||Appointment at Visa Application Center(VAC) The Kentucky Consular Center or National Visa Center set up your Visa interview|
Consulate appointment and Visa Application Center
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.
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:
|Additional documentation||Submit the required documents at any of the document drop-off centres or Book an appointment - Category 2|
|Administrative processes||Wait until further instructions from the US Consulate|
|Pending case||Shoot an email to [email protected]|
|Report fraud||Send a mail to [email protected]|
- 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
- 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
Visa Type: You should select your Visa type. Go through details of all the Nonimmigrant Visas
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
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
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
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
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
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.
22nd June 2016