The US is in the process of making its visa application procedure shorter for Indian nationals and some applicants can even apply for an exemption from the obligatory interview from September 1.
The US consulate in a communication to travel agent associations said that this initiative is intended to shorten turnaround times for visa renewals and improve customer service for visa requests across India.
The consulate further stated that starting September 1, the eligible applicants are required to book an appointment date to leave their passport and visa application materials at one of its 11 locations in the country, the Economic Times reported citing the communication.
After this, a visa application centre employee will assess the document checklist before accepting the visa application for transfer to the US embassy or consulate. Applicants will further get a decision on their case in seven to 10 business days from the date of documents' submission, the report said.
Children below 14 years of age, and senior citizens above 79 years of age who want to renew their US visa can qualify for a waiver from the mandatory interview while applying for a US visa from next month, the report added.
The consulate also clarified that an applicant is required to appear for an interview in certain cases.
"If the applicant is required to come in for an interview, he or she must travel to the post selected for interview waiver processing," it said in its communication. "Once documents are submitted, it is not possible to transfer cases between posts. Applicants who must appear for an interview will be notified on how to proceed," the consulate added.
The locations where the US visa application centres are situated in are New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Kochi and Mumbai.