The F1 Visa Process

Most of you have received admits from the universities and are now in the crucial phase of visa application. Here is a quick look at the visa process, chronologically.

 

1. filling in the DS 160 form
2. paying the visa fees
3. scheduling appointments for:
a) submitting biometric data and documents at the Offsite Facilitation Centre and
b) the Visa Interview
4. post visa interview

1. Online Filling of the DS 160 Form
The first step is to fill the DS 160 form online. Filling the form generates a CONFIRMATION NUMBER. You will require this number to print the ‘Receipt of Payment’ (which, in this case, is printed out before you make any payment!) since it contains the CGI reference number that is required if you are going to pay the visa fees in cash.

2. Payment of Visa Fees
You can now pay the visa fees by:
1. Electronic Fund Transfer
2. Mobile Phone
3. Cash payment at any Axis bank branch (there are over 1800 branches across the country) If you make cash payment of the fees (recommended), be sure to take along the ‘Receipt of Payment’ that you printed out earlier. The bank will need to see the ‘CGI Reference Number’ on it when you go to pay the visa fees. If you fail to produce the ‘Receipt of Payment’ the bank will not accept your visa fees.

3. Scheduling the Appointments
You can schedule appointments only after the receipt is ‘activated.’ Usually, this takes an hour. Once the receipt has been activated, you will have to schedule two appointments:
1. Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) – this appointment is for you to submit fingerprints of all ten fingers, photographs (digital and physical) and required documents. This appointment has to be scheduled at least one day prior to the visa interview date.
2. Visa Interview – this is the actual visa interview appointment.
Note:
1. You cannot appear for both appointments on the same date; and appointments for consecutive dates may not always be available. There have been instances where there is one whole week between the OFC appointment and the appointment for the interview. If that happens to you, you will have to make two trips to the consulate.
2. After the visa has been granted the passport is couriered to the home address (this facility is available for select cities only) or can be collected from the VFS center nearest to the home city.

4. Post Visa Interview
After you have been granted the US visa you can track your passport to check if it is ready for pick-up.
Once the passport is delivered at the pick-up centre you can collect it in person. In case you are unable to collect it, you may send your family member to collect it on your behalf along with your ID proof. Instructions on passport pick-up can be found HERE

If you have any queries related to:

  • filling the DS-160 form
  • payment of visa fees or
  • scheduling/changing visa appointments

these can be made at:

  • Email: support-india@ustraveldocs.com
  • Telephone: +91-120 – 4844644 or +91 40 46258222
  • Skype: user name: ustraveldocs-india
  • Online Chat: www.ustraveldocs.com

TIMINGS:
Monday-Friday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

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