Hyderabad

‘Six-month passport rule not for Indian citizens’

My wife has a visitor visa valid until January 2020. She plans to travel to the U.S. in September 2018 and stay until March 2019. Her passport is valid until May 2019. She will depart from the U.S. before her passport expires. Does she need to renew her passport before her trip to the U.S.?

M. Harikishan

As your spouse plans to depart from the U.S. before her passport expires, she may continue with her travel plans. Although many visitors travelling to the United States are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the United States, Indian citizens are exempt from the six-month rule and need to only have a passport valid for their intended period of stay. However, if you are transiting through another country, the six month rule may still apply. Please visit www.travel.state.gov for further information.

I am a teacher in a school in Ludhiana, Punjab. Last year, a travel agency contacted our school for an educational trip to the U.S. It was a 12-day program travelling across the country. The entire group of students and coordinator visa applications were rejected and we were given a 214B form by the interviewing official. What is the reason behind our application rejection?

Nidhi Kapila

There are many reasons why an applicant might not qualify for a visa. An officer will ask a number of questions in a very short period to try to understand things like purpose of travel, employment or school history and family ties. All of these factor into an adjudication decision, not simply your purpose of travel. Sometimes, an officer may determine that you do not meet the requirements to obtain a U.S. visa at this time. If your non-immigrant visa application was refused, you may reapply.

However, you should be able to explain to the next officer what has changed between now and the previous interview that would change the decision. In most cases, we recommend you wait six months to a year before re-applying in order to help you establish stronger work, study and/or familial ties in India.

I attended a visa interview in January 2017. I was issued 221G white slip and was told that my case needs more time to investigate. I have received call in January 2018 from the consulate and was asked to submit supporting documents. I mailed the documents to hydfpu@state.gov and support-india@ustraveldocs.com. But haven't received any update again. My visa status is still showing as under ‘administrative processing’ on the website.

Manjunatha Kaliwal

Administrative processing is a routine step that must be completed before a final decision can be made. During this process, applicants may be asked for additional documentation that helps our office make a final determination on your case. The length of time for administrative processing varies significantly between applications and situations. For more information, you may check on the status of your visa application at any time by using the case number listed on the top of the 221G form at the following website: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/ or by contacting the call centre at support-india@ustraveldocs.com.

Do you have questions about visas or other services provided by the U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad? Each alternate Monday, Consulate officials will answer your questions. Email your questions to queries2consul@gmail.com.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 11:11:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/six-month-passport-rule-not-for-indian-citizens/article23722132.ece

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