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US consulates in India to eliminate long waiting period for visa interviews

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Indians bound for America can now expect to face lesser procedural hassles, with the US Embassy mobilising additional resources to eliminate by the year-end the waiting period for visa interviews which at present goes up to six months. The US Mission is also working to expand its Business Executive Programme (BEP) under which visas of company employees are processed on priority basis.

This will involve expansion of the list of companies entitled for the facility. "We are sensitive to the inconvenience and long waits for appointments which have characterised our visa processing system in recent months," US Ambassador David C Mulford told reporters after inaugurating new visa appointment system at the Embassy in New Delhi.

A similar system, under which the applicants waitlisted for the visa appointments can advance their appointments, has been initiated in American Consulates General in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Acknowledging that the prolonged waiting period was giving a "bad name" to the US, Mulford said, "We have made a Mission-wide commitment to reduce the waiting time for a visa appointment, with the goal of eliminating this waiting period altogether."

He said all those applicants, who have already got an appointment, should visit the Embassy's appointment website to advance their schedule.

Additional manpower has been put at the Embassy and Consulates to clear the backlog and at least 12 officers are being sent from Washington for the purpose.

Underlining that "nothing is more important for the future of the two countries than the strong and growing bond of business and people-to-people contact", Mulford said the visas of employees of various companies were being processed on priority basis.

Talks are being held with the major Indian business chambers like FICCI, CII, NASSCOM and Indo-American Chambers of Commerce to identify companies whose employees would get visas on priority.

The facility would be open only to Future 1000 companies and other firms of the same class.

The aim is to make travel process easier, Mulford said, expressing confidence that new initiatives will strengthen the bilateral ties.

The Ambassador said there was no quota for Indians visiting the US and noted that the demand of visa-seekers is increasing continuously.

Around five lakh visa applications were processed during the last one year, since October 2005.

Mulford pointed out that after 9/11, the US changed its visa rules and the process became cumbersome, leading to increase in waiting period.

Over the last three years, the waiting period for visas reduced but rose since about last six months due to various procedural reasons like overlapping of staff.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2097179.cms


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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This would be very nice:

  • No one from Pras' family (all except one uncle and his immediate family--who are in FL--are in India) attended the wedding (I can't easily see that they would have been able to apply for visa appointments BEFORE I knew of Pras' K-1 appointment--and by then it was too late for being able to come here for Easter)
  • it would also lift Pras' spirits if her mum could visit, at least for our anniversary


2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

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As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

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