Although the US visa application is rather standardized for most, there are certain specific requirements which differ by country. That is because the US Embassies or Consulates abroad choose the most adequate application method for the location. This article will detail the US visa application in India.
Do Indians Need a US Visa?
Yes, all Indian citizens need a visa to enter the US. There are only a few countries which are included on the US Visa Waiver Program and can enter the country for short-term business or tourism purposes.
Use this tool to find out whether you need to apply for a US visa in India:
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How to Apply for a US Visa in India?
To apply for a US visa in India, you have to follow these steps:
- Determine what type of US visa you need.
- Complete the US visa application form (Form DS-160).
- Pay the US visa fee.
- Schedule a visa appointment.
- Collect the required documents.
- Submit the application at the US Visa Application Centre.
- Enter your US visa interview at the US Embassy.
Determine What Type of US Visa You Need
There are different types of US visas, depending on the reason you want to travel to the US. You have to determine which one suits your situation. You can see the US visa types here.
Complete the US Visa Application Form (Form DS-160)
Once you know what type of visa you have to apply for, you have to complete the US visa application form, which is known as Form DS-160. You can complete the application form online through:
- the Consular Electronic Application Center, or
- by using the services of a third party company such as TravelAssist.
Once you start the application, you will receive an Application ID number. You may need this number further along the application process, so make sure to save it. Make sure all the information you submit is correct because you won’t be able to make any changes afterwards.
Once you complete the DS-160 form, you will be redirected to a confirmation page, which includes a barcode number. You will need this number to make a US visa appointment. Then, you have to email yourself a copy of the DS-160, which you can download in PDF and print. You need the printed confirmation page for your appointment at the Visa Application Center and interview at the Embassy/Consulate.
Pay the US Visa Fee
Before you submit the US visa application in India, you have to pay the visa fee, which changes depending on the type of visa you apply for. See the US visa fees here. To pay the US visa fee in India you have the following options:
- Through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)
- Through Mobile Payments – IMPS
- By Cash – Over the Counter at DRUK Bank, AXIS Bank and Citibank
Once you pay the visa fee, keep the receipt because you will need to present it on your visa appointment.
US visa fees are non-refundable.
Schedule a US Visa Appointment in India
To schedule a US visa appointment in India, you have to create an account on the US’s online visa application service here. You have to schedule two different appointments:
- One at the Visa Application Center
- One with the US Embassy or Consulate. The appointment at the Embassy/Consulate has to be at least one day after the VAC appointment.
To schedule your appointments, you will need the following:
- Your passport number
- The visa application fee receipt number.
- The ten-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
Submit the Application at the US Visa Application Centre in India
When you schedule your appointment for US visa application in India, you have to select the location where you want to apply (i.e. the Visa Application Centre). There are VACs in India in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and New Delhi, and you should select the one nearest to you.
Once you arrive at the Visa Application Centre on the date of your appointment, the staff will take your picture and fingerprints. You must have the following documents with you:
- Your passport, which must be valid for at least another six months from the date you intend to leave the US.
- Your DS-160 confirmation page.
- Your appointment confirmation page.
- One passport-size picture, which is in line with US visa photo requirements.
Collect the required US visa documents for Indians
- Your passport, which has to be valid for at least another six months from the time you intend to depart the US.
- Previous passports which have old US visas in them.
- Two passport-size pictures, which meet the US visa photo requirements.
- The printout of Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Proof you paid the US visa fee (the receipt).
- Social media details. A recent requirement for US visa application is a list of the social media that you use, and the name of your account in each, as well as your phone number, email and social media history from the five previous years.
- Travel itinerary. It has to show what you intend to do while you are in the US.
- Proof of accommodation, depending on where you are staying. Hotel reservation, letter of invitation from a friend/relative etc.
- Any other documents based on the US visa you want to renew. For example:
- Sponsorship documents (if you have a sponsor).
- For US Work Visa: Any documents showing your credentials as well as a work offer/contract.
- For US Student Visa: Proof you have been admitted into the US educational institution.
Enter Your US Visa Interview at the US Embassy
After you submit the visa application at the VAC, you have to enter your US visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. When you appear at the US Embassy/Consulate, you have to bring the following documents with you:
- The print-out of your appointment confirmation letter,
- Your DS-160 confirmation page stamped at the VAC
- Your current passport and any old passports you may have
- Any supporting documents depending on your visa type
The interview doesn’t last long and the US visa officers may ask you questions such as what’s the reason you want to go to the US or anything that would help them get to know you.
Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time because you have to present your appointment letter and passport at the entry and go through security clearance. You may also have to wait in line for a bit.
Where can I attend my US visa interview in India
The addresses of the US Embassies and Consulates in India are below:
Remember that US Embassies and Consulates in India do not allow you to bring electronics, phones, food, or large bags inside, so make arrangements to leave them elsewhere before you arrive.
US Visa in India Interview Waiver
You are only exempt from a US visa interview at the Embassy if:
- You are applying for a US visa renewal in India and meet certain conditions
- You are under the age of 14 or over the age of 79
To increase your chances of having a successful U.S. Visitor Visa application in India you can use the services of TravelAssist.
The experienced TravelAssist agents will carefully handle your application and offer the help you need during your U.S. Visitor Visa Application.
Processing Time For a US Visa Application in India
Unless your application needs further administrative inspection, then you will learn whether you received your US visa or not immediately after your interview. If you do need a further administrative inspection, then you have to wait a few more days until they make a decision.
If your US visa is approved, you still have to wait three to four days until you receive it.
Where to Receive US Visa in India?
When you schedule your US visa appointments, you have to specify a place where you would like to receive your passport with the US visa affixed – that’s where you have to go and get it. You can also select to have the documents delivered to you by mail.
Do I need Travel Insurance for US Visa Application in India?
No, travel insurance is not technically a requirement of the US visa application. However, since the healthcare costs in the US are very high, even though it is not required, obtaining US visa travel health insurance from India is very much recommended.