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Thread: U.S. Mission in India Expands Interview Waiver Program

  1. #1
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    U.S. Mission in India Expands Interview Waiver Program

    New Delhi | November 19, 2012

    In March of 2012, the United States Mission to India unveiled the Interview Waiver Program (IWP) which allows qualified individuals to apply for additional classes of visas without being interviewed in person by a U.S. consular officer. Following the success of the IWP, as part of continuing efforts to streamline the visa process, and to meet increased visa demand in India, the U.S. Mission is pleased to announce an expansion of the IWP. We expect this expansion to benefit thousands of visa applicants in India.

    Under the current Interview Waiver Program, Indian visa applicants who are renewing visas that are still valid or expired within the past 48 months may submit their applications for consideration for streamlined processing, including waiver of a personal interview, within the following visa categories:

    Business/Tourism (B1 and/or B2);
    Dependent (J2, H4, L2)
    Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D) - including C1/D.
    Children applying before their 7th birthday traveling on any visa class
    Applicants applying on or after their 80th birthday traveling on any visa class
    Under the expanded program, the following Indian applicants may also be considered for streamlined processing:

    Children applying before their 14th birthday traveling on any visa class
    Students returning to attend the same school and same program
    Temporary workers on H1-B visas
    Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas
    The renewal application must be within the same classification as the previous visa. If the previous visa is annotated with the words “clearance received,” that applicant is not eligible for a waiver of a personal interview.

    Not all applications will be accepted for streamlined processing. As always, consular officers may interview any visa applicant in any category. Applicants who are renewing their visas may still need to make an appointment for biometrics (fingerprint and photograph) collection, and all applicants must submit all required fees and the DS-160 application form.

    This initiative is one of many steps the Department of State is taking to meet increased visa demand in India. In 2011, consular officers in India processed nearly 700,000 nonimmigrant visa applications, an increase of more than 11 percent over the previous year. Presently, applicants wait fewer than ten days for visa interview appointments and spend less than one hour at U.S. consular facilities in India. In September 2012, the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to India implemented a new visa processing system throughout India that further standardizes procedures and simplifies fee payment and appointment scheduling through a new website at www.ustraveldocs.com/in.

    For more details about procedures for submitting a renewal application, please see http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visarenew.asp.

  2. #2
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    Repeat travelers to the United States may, under some circumstances, renew their visas without appearing at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for an interview. Additionally, some governments allow their citizens to travel with a valid visa in an expired passport, provided the traveler also has a valid passport. If your government allows travel with a valid visa and a combination of an expired and valid visa, then the U.S. government will allow you to travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport.Qualifications

    You may submit your visa application at a Team Stanley location as either an Interview Waiver or Drop Box submission and proceed without a consular interview if you meet all of the following qualifications:INTERVIEW WAIVER PROGRAM "DROPBOX" CHECKLIST

    If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you qualify for our Interview Waiver Program “Dropbox”. Please login and create your profile and drop off your passport at one of the 11 service centers.Eligibility Criteria for all applicants except child below 14 years and applicant above 80 years of age:
    • I received my visa after November 1, 2008
    • I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew
    • My previous visa was issued in India
    • My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
    • I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance
    • If I am applying for a B1/B2, C1D, F, or J visa, my prior visa in the same classification is still valid or expired within the last 48 months
    • If I am applying for an H or L (individual) visa, my prior visa in the same classification with the same petitioner is still valid or expired within the last 12 months. Note: L (Blanket) visa does not qualify.
    • My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received”
    • My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was not lost or stolen

    Eligibility Criteria for Child below 14 years:
    • Valid visa copy of the same visa category of either parents in which the child is applying

    Eligibility criteria for applicants over 80 years of age:
    • Applying on or after 80th birthday

    INTERVIEW WAIVER PROGRAM CHECKLIST

    If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you qualify for our Interview Waiver Program. Please schedule an appointment at an OFC for fingerprinting.Eligibility Criteria:
    • I received my visa after August 1, 2004
    • I have a previous U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which I wish to renew
    • My previous visa was issued in India
    • My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was issued on or after my 14th birthday
    • I have no refusals for a visa in any category after my most recent visa issuance
    • If I am applying for a B1/B2, C1D, F, or J visa, my prior visa in the same classification is still valid or expired within the last 48 months
    • If I am applying for an H or L (individual) visa, my prior visa in the same classification with the same petitioner is still valid or expired within the last 12 months. Note: L (Blanket) visa does not qualify.
    • My prior visa is not annotated “Clearance Received”
    • My most recent visa (in the same visa class for which I am applying) was not lost or stolen

    Note: Using the interview waiver or drop box service does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, you may be required to appear for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate, for example, if you submit an incomplete and/or inaccurate application. Submit your application well in advance of your planned travel to allow for the possibility that a visa interview will be necessary.How to Apply

    Step 1Pay the visa application fee and any reciprocity fee associated with your visa. This webpage lists all of the visa fees associated with the most common nonimmigrant visa types. Instructions for how to pay your fees are available onthis webpage.Step 2Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. After completing the form, print and save your confirmation page.Step 3Register an account on this webpage. Follow the steps to schedule an interview. Answer the questions carefully.If you meet the requirements for interview waiver:
    • Schedule an appointment at one of our OFCs (link to OFCs) where your fingerprints and photo will be taken.
    • Your current passport
    • Your current or most recent visa
    • Supporting documentation required for your visa type
    • Children applying through IWP or dropbox should submit photocopies of their parents’ visas.

    If you qualify for drop-box submission, you will receive a drop-box submission letter containing a document checklist. Print two copies of the drop-box letter and insert the following documents into a "drop box" package, then seal the package:
    • Your current passport
    • Your current or most recent visa
    • One copy of the drop-box letter
    • One photograph taken within the last six months (conforming to the guidelines on this webpage). In the vast majority of cases, YOU MAY NOT SUBMIT THE SAME PHOTOGRAPH THAT APPEARED ON YOUR LAST VISA. Failure to submit a valid photograph will delay the processing of your case.
    • Supporting documentation required for your visa type
    • Children applying through IWP or dropbox should submit photocopies of their parents’ visas.

    Step 4Deliver your documents for IWP at one of our OFCs or drop box visa application to a Team Stanley Office. Bring the second copy of your document checklist with you. A Team Stanley employee will review your document checklist before accepting your application for delivery to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.Step 5If additional information is needed to complete processing of your case, you will be informed by email. If your application is approved, your passport and visa will be delivered for pickup to your selected Document Collection center you specified when you scheduled your interview. Details on passport delivery are available on this webpage.
    Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law and debt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques.

    For updates follow us onYoutube, Radio, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Shah Peerally Law Group PC deals in immigration law - www.peerallylaw.com and www.immigrationlegalblog.com
    Attorney Shah Peerally also deals in debt settlement. For more information call us on 510.742.5887 and visit us on www.YourDebtSettlementAttorney.com.
    Information provided above is for educational purposes only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. You should consult an attorney to assess your case before proceeding.

  3. #3
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