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New Online US Visa Application Process From Feb 1

PTI 12 Jan 2010, 20:31:00 PM IST
PTI

The US Consulate officials on Tuesday  announced that a new online visa application process would be launched from February 1, wherein non-immigrant visa applications will be submitted using an electronic form. 

The new system would streamline the application process, Jim Herman, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the US Embassy in Delhi, told reporters here. "This would allow us to efficiently process applications," he added. 

The DS-160, a web-based non-immigrant visa application, incorporates all existing NIV applications into one interactive, online form. Visa applicants completing their applications as of January 19 will need to use the new form, he said. 

Applicants will continue to complete visa application forms online, as they did previously with the electronic visa application form. With the new form, however, applicants will now submit applications via the internet, eliminating the need for paper applications. 

"The applicant would have to fill up visa papers electronically, answer a few questions online and approach the consulate with a print-out of a one-page confirmation with barcode," he said.

"We have spent around five million dollars on hardware around the world to implement the new system," Herman said. The new measure is aimed at ensuring paperless process while applying for visas, Consular Section chief David Tyler said. 

The new consulate building at Bandra-Kurla Complex here would be operational in summer this year, Tyler said. The consulate now operates from a leased premise in Breach Candy area.

The number of US students from India to the US has increased by nine per cent, from 94,563 to 103,260 during 2008-09. China and Korea have the second and third largest students studying in the US.

There was a slight drop in overall number of visa applicants last year in the backdrop of recession, but the number is picking up, he said. Security has always been a concern while processing visa applications, the senior diplomat said. PTI