‘Steps are being taken to hasten the process of granting travel visas'
A senior official from the Consulate-General of the USA, Hyderabad has asked aspirants seeking a travel visa to apply in advance.
Even before finalising the schedule , the visa could be obtained to avoid last minute hurry, Vice-Consul Kevin Price told an awareness programme at the Collectorate here on Wednesday.
Several aspirants explained their woes in getting a travel visa and repeated rejection without assigning any valid reasons. Mr. Price advised them to mail their grievances if any for getting a response on e-mail.
He said on an average they were getting 500 to 600 visa applications through the consulate office at Hyderabad. During the interview which lasts for two to three minutes, the applicant had to convince the officials with a legitimate reason for visiting the United States and provide sufficient reasons to come back to India.
Later he told The Hindu that they were getting the largest number of non-immigrant visa applications from India after Mexico. The authorities were also trying to hasten the process for granting travel visas (B-1 and B-2) with a validity of 10 years on payment of $140 at a HDFC bank by submitting a particular form in a prescribed format.
To a question, he said there was no restriction on the number of times one could submit the application for visa. But each time, the prescribed fee for processing should be submitted. However, there would be an exemption of fee if the application was rejected for want of some documents he informed adding that for those not good at English, option was available for an interview in Telugu.
Mr. Price said photos to be submitted along with the form should be as per the US specifications and the application form DS-160 should be filled online. Basic information on how to apply for a visa could be accessed by visiting http:/Hyderabad.usconsulate.gov and calling VFS-Helpline 0120-6611411 during working hours. Email queries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail address for sending in requests for emergency visa appointments: HydCEA@state.gov.
Mr. Price said one should avoid visiting the US with a passport in a bad condition and a validity of less than six months. Photograph requirement could be verified from http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info 1287.html.