Indians travelling abroad particularly to the United States need to have a visa to grant them entry into the country. The type of visa required primarily depends on the nature of the visit. Visa applications majority of the time are non-immigrant visas that grant people entry to the United States for a defined period of time. These visas have been categorically defined based on the nature of visit and it is imperative for the Indian traveler to apply for the right visa in order for it to be successfully approved. The below article throws light on the main types of US visas and their base requirements.
Non-Immigrant Visa Requirements for Indians
These type of visas are the most commonly sought after one as it covers a wide array of visits. Non-immigrant visas range from business visas to tourist visas, student visas, transit visas and even visas to carry out religious work. These visas require the applicant to meet certain requirements which are that they should demonstrate to the consular officer, at the time of interview that they wish to visit the United States for a particular period of time and for a specific reason only. They should be able to show financial resources that would cover all expenses during their stay in the United States, they should provide the contact information while staying in the US and show strong ties to their resident country, both economic and social that warrants their return upon the duration of their visit.
Immigrant Visa Requirements for Indians
Immigrant visas are not sought as often by Indians as compared to the non-immigrant visas when visiting the United States. An immigrant visa allows the applicant to make the United States their country of residence. These visas require that the applicant wishing to stay in the United States must have a petition signed by the USCIS and this petition is to be filed either by a qualified relative or a potential employer at a United States USCIS office. Indian applicants are required to file form I-130 by mail with the USCIS office in Chicago. Indian applicants will also be provided instructions on how to carry out the medical examinations and should make the appointments with an embassy panel approved physician only after receiving these instructions.
Document Requirements for Indians Travelling to the United States
Indians visiting the United States will be required to carry with them, the following documents:
If you are involved in technical or scientific fields, your visa application may require administrative processing of approximately four to eight weeks. If you think this requirement will affect you, apply for your visa as early as possible, prepare for your visa interview well in advance and bring to your visa interview the following documents:
- The respective Visa form and fee payment and valid passport
- Regulation sized photographs
- A detailed statement highlighting the nature and purpose of the visit
- Financial records and statements showing sufficient finances to fund the trip and meet expenses incurred during stay
- Invitation letters from sponsoring organizations such as supervisors and employers
- Detailed resume highlighting past and current employers and academic backgrounds
- An itinerary with places that applicant plans on visiting with contact names, addresses, telephone numbers and addresses of any organizations affiliated with the visit
- If the visit is for research purposes, then a description of the practical applications of the research
Eligibility Criteria for US Visa
The eligibility criteria that Indians must meet in order to obtain a US visa are as follows
- The applicant must have a passport that is valid for a period of at least 6 months from the period of entering the United States
- The applicant must not have any prior criminal cases or any ongoing cases against them
- The applicant will need to have letter of acceptance from any university in which they wish to study or letter of confirmation by an employer if the visit is of a business nature
- Applicants must have return tickets to show they intend on leaving the United States according to the dates they have mentioned and validate the duration of stay
- Applicants should show strong ties to resident country to offset chances of illegal immigration
- Dependants or spouses travelling with the applicants will need to have separate visa applications
Additional criteria and procedure
In some cases, US visas will require the applicant to undergo medical examinations by a physician that is approved by the Embassy Panel. In some cases, Biometric data will also be required which will consist of a digital scan of all ten digits of the applicant.
United States Visa applications for Indians can be done either offline or online. The applicant will need to select the correct type of visa and fill out the form accordingly. In offline mode, the applicant can download these forms and mail the filled out form to the embassy they wish to visit. An online application is of similar nature but the applicant will have to submit the forms online. Upon payment of the fee, the applicant will be allotted an appointment. Both forms of application will require the applicant to attend a face to face interview with a consular officer. Applicants will need to carry with them the required documents along with their passport.
The passport will need to be handed over for processing of the visa. Applicants can track the status of their passports through the embassy websites and will also receive regular notifications via email and SMS alerting them of the status and when the passport and visa can be collected.
US Visa Rejection policy
Visa policies more often than not get rejected when the applicant cannot sufficiently prove that they will return as indicated. This may be due to insufficient funds for the trip or if the applicant suggests that they may seek employment on the wrong type of visa. An applicant who cannot sufficiently show to the consular officer, their strong ties to the resident country are at risk of becoming illegal immigrants. It is up to the applicant to overcome this outlook and show strong ties, both social and economic that will warrant their return to the resident country.
Other reasons for rejection will include damaged passports that have either been washed, laundered mutilated or have the biographic data film of the passport that display vital information separating from the pages.
Visas can also be rejected if the applicant fails to carry with them the required documents or meet the required eligibility criteria such as passports with validity.
Read about Visa Requirements for Indians
Assocham Urges the PM Modi to Discuss Visa Curbs with US President
As the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi prepares for his scheduled US visit on 26 June next week, Assocham, the industry association urged him to take up the issue of tightening H1B visa rules with the new US President, Donald Trump.
Expressing concern over proposed visa restrictions set to hit Indian IT firms in the US, the Chamber argued that US firms, while creating jobs for Indian IT professionals, also reap profits worth billions of dollars from this association. Assocham said that it is unfair to target Indian IT firms as they are already facing increased pressure in the US through increased visa fee, other unrelated levies and such non-trade measures.
The chamber said that Narendra Modi should present India's case to Donald Trump by highlighting the liberal market access American corporations enjoy in India. It added that American firms not only repatriate profits back to the US, Indian IT firms there also create jobs in the American market as well.
27th June 2017
US conducts Student Visa Day in multiple Indian cities
The US Embassy organised Student Visa Day during its third iteration to enable more than 4,000 Indian students to enrol for Visa to study in the United States. This is being done to enrich the relation between the 2 nations in the arena of higher education.
Currently, there are around 1,66,000 students from India who study in several US schools that provide higher education. The new students in these schools were given a grand welcome by the US Embassy and the consulates.
At this special event, there were representatives from Education USA and people who recently graduated from these institutes. They expressed their experiences at school and gave many tips to aspiring students about how to reside and study in the United States.
15th June 2017
First Mexican Consulate of South India set up in Chennai
The first Mexican consulate of South India has been set up in Chennai, and it will be catering to all the southern states of India. This will be the third Mexican consulate in the country, the other two being in Mumbai and Kolkata.
Melba Pria, Mexicos Ambassador to India stated at a press conference that the country is scrutinizing Free Trade Agreement with India. She mentioned that bilateral trade between the two countries has grown by about 400% since 2004, to stand at $7 billion, and most of the export to India is oil. She also said that Mexico has overtaken Brazil for the first time as the top recipient of India's exports to the Latin American countries. In 2015-16, the exports to Mexico were worth $2.8 billion.
The Ambassador also indicated that they are enthusiastic about the Make in India programme. She added that India has seen a definitive increase in Mexican tourists on account of the e-visa scheme introduced by the Indian government.