Get all the details on visa rules and visa information. From details on Business visas to Tourist visas, rules on visitor policies, visa fees and visa forms, find all the information you're looking for right here.
Note (06th May, 2011): Hours of Operation: The visa section of the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, U.S. Consulate General, Chennai, and U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai conduct nonimmigrant visa interviews, by appointment only, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except for holidays and closures. The Embassy and Consulates are closed to the public on the last Wednesday of every month.
Note (25th January, 2010): Giudelines to complete Form DS 160 as below:
Click on this link DS- 60 Internet Guide to learn the Form DS -160 in detail.
Study the Apply DS-160_faq in detail, before proceeding to complete the Form DS - 160.
Log on to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ upload a photo and complete the form following the instructions.
Note: Once there is more clarity on the new visa process, will update data below.
Applying for a Visa
All non-immigrant visa applicants must follow these steps in order to apply for a US Visa and to schedule a visa Interview:
Step 1: All nonimmigrant visa applicants except "Officials travelling on government business" and "Officials of international organisation travelling for official purpose" must pay the Application Fee and VFS Service' Charge at a designated Branch of HDFC Bank before applying for a visa.
This fee should be paid at HDFC Bank and a Visa Fee Receipt should be obtained prior to confirming a visa interview appointment online or at any US Visa Application Centre. The Fee Receipt gets activated after 2 working days from the date of issue. No attempt should be made to take an appointment till then. The Receipt is valid till 1 year from the date of payment, and can be used only once.
For the fee payment at HDFC Bank a photocopy of the 1st page of the Applicant's passport is a mandatory requirement. Indian Citizen's residing in the US should fax a copy of the passport's data page to the person in India assisting them.
Demand Drafts issued by Co-operative Banks are not accepted.
Step 2: Log on to the website http://www.vfs-usa.co.in and click on the Apply for a Non-immigrant Visa link once the fees are paid. You will need to use the barcode number from your HDFC Bank Fee Receipt in order to schedule an appointment. You will be required to fill the forms DS-156 and DS-157 and DS-158 (if applicable) at that time. You will have to wait 48 hours after paying the fee before you can book an appointment.
Step 3: Report to the US Embassy or Consulate where your appointment for a visa interview is scheduled. You will need to bring the printed Appointment Letter, the Visa Application Forms, one recent photograph , the original HDFC Bank Fee Receipt with its two barcode stickers. Applications without an original HDFC Bank Receipt or with an incorrect photograph will NOT be accepted.
Step 4: If you are issued a visa, your passport will be returned to you via courier. Applicants can seek information at any US Visa Application Centre located in 12 cities across India . For more information about Visas to the United States , or to make an appointment for a Visa using the new VFS system, please visit http://www.vfs-usa.co.in
For more information about Visas to the United States, or to make an appointment for a Visa using the new VFS system, please visit one of the following links:
U.S. Embassy and Consulates
http://www.vfs-usa.co.in (active October 1, 2005)
Photograph Requirements across all cases:
The photograph should measure 50 mm X 50 mm, should not be more than 6 months old, should be taken against a white or off-white background and with the head centred in the frame. The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 25 mm to 35 mm with the eye level between 28 mm and 35 mm from the bottom of the photo. The following are the photograph requirements:
The photo must be a full face view in which the visa applicant is facing the camera directly.
The applicant should not look down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50 percent of the photo area.
Side or angled views are NOT acceptable.
The photo should be in colour, and must have only a white or off-white background. Photos with dark, busy, or patterned backgrounds will not be accepted.
In general, the applicant's head, including both face and hair, should be shown from the crown of the head to the tip of the chin on top and bottom and from hairline side-to-side. It is preferable that ears be exposed.
Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not cover any portion of the applicant's face.
Sunglasses or other wear that detracts from the face are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons, for example, an eye patch.
A photo of an applicant wearing a traditional facemask or veil that does not permit adequate identification is not acceptable.
Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable.
A photo of an applicant wearing tribal, national costume, or other headgear not religious in nature is not acceptable.
A photo of a minor child must contain no one else. If the child needs to be supported, the means of support should not be in the camera's frame.
Group photos are NOT acceptable. As a separate visa is issued to each qualified applicant, a photo of each applicant is required.
Digital photos must meet all the requirements and be reproduced without any dot patterns or pixels being visible.
Digitally scanned photos and photocopied photos are NOT acceptable. Only original photos are acceptable.
Digitally altered or retouched photos are NOT acceptable. The applicant's appearance and the background of the picture must not be altered.
This is most frequently a tourist, business, student, or specialty worker visa permitting the applicant to stay for a particular period of time in the United States .
Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States . At the port of entry, an Inspector may deny admission to the holder of a valid visa if the traveller's activities do not appear to be compatible with the specified visa category.
Non-Immigrant Visa: Tourist
All visa applicants, except those travelling on official government business or who are under age 14 or over age 79, will be required to submit ten electronic fingerprint impressions. At the time of the visa interview, applicants will be asked to electronically scan the four fingers and a thumb of each hand. Applicants who are required to be fingerprinted, and who have a cut or blister or other temporary skin injury on their index fingers may not be issued a visa until their finger heals before they can be fingerprinted. The scanned fingerprint data collected at the time of interview will be compared with fingerprint scans at the US port of entry to prevent the misuse of US visas by impostors and by those wanted for more serious offences. Please remember, however, that all visa applicants, regardless of their age or visa category, will require an interview.
The Applicant should have a passport valid for at least six months from the desired date of entry. The validity of the visa issued will in no case extend the validity of the passport.
One passport-size photograph (see specifications above).
A Completed and signed Visa Application Form: DS-156.
An Appointment Letter.
HDFC Bank Fee Receipt with two bar code stickers.
In addition to the above forms, if applying for a F-1, M-1 and J-1 visa, the Applicant must submit a completed and signed application form DS-158.
A completed and signed Supplemental Application Form - DS-157.
If the Applicant is employed, the Employment and Salary details are required.
Income Tax Returns, Itemised Bank statements and other documents to show the assets of the Applicant (if any) is needed.
If the Applicant is in Government Service or with the Armed Forces, a No Objection Letter or Certificate and sanctioned Leave Letter is needed.
In the event of having a Sponsor the following documents are required of him/ her:
An Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) from the Sponsor.
Copies of the Passport (along with the visa pages) of the Relative in the United States .
Documents to show the Sponsor's legal status in the United States .
The US Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) inspector at the port of entry decides your length of stay in the United States .
You are strongly recommended to keep photocopies of your passport's data pages and of the US visa. A US non-immigrant visa is a valuable document. Inform the US Embassy/Consulate from where your visa was issued immediately if you have lost your passport. You would need to obtain a new non-immigrant visa. At the time of your interview please present the Police First Incident Report (FIR) from the Police precinct where the passport was lost in India or overseas as well as a photocopy of the lost Passport and valid US visa, if possib
If you have been denied a US non-immigrant visa under Section 214(b), you may schedule a new appointment. You must demonstrate a significant change in your circumstances or present compelling new evidence to an adjudicating Consular Officer at a subsequent interview in order to be granted a visa. There is no limitation on the number of times you may apply for a non-immigrant visa.
If you have purchased a fee receipt with your old passport and are now applying with a new passport, you will need to contact VFS and give the details of both your passports and HDFC fee receipt. The VFS official will rectify the same and validate the new passport number. You may now schedule your appointment using your new passport details. At the visa interview, you must produce both your old and new passport along with your HDFC Bank fee receipt failing which your appointment will be cancelled.
Effective November 20, 2010, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India will begin collecting an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions that fall under the provisions of Public Law 111-230. These additional fees apply to petitioners with more than 50 employees in the United States and with more than 50 percent of those employees in H-1B or L (including L-1A, L-1B, and L-2) status.