An ultimate guide on VISA processing!

Visa processing


Visa Process Guide By FutureinUSA

When To Apply?

  • You can start visa process only after receiving an I-20 from a US university as you need school name, school address, school code, SEVIS ID etc. to apply for visa
  • Some universities email the scanned copy of I-20 to students. In such cases, you need not wait for the hard copy to arrive to start visa process

Application Process:

  1. First, DS 160 form needs to be filled. The form has many details and you need to be careful while filling in the details. It has a separate section for US contact information. You can give some relative’s information or school information here
  2. The submitted form will be sent to you by email. Keep this form safely as you need to take a print-out of this to your visa interview
  3. Visit and create a profile on this portal.
  • You can schedule a visa interview only after completing the formalities in this portal.
  • At the visa fee payment step, you will receive a document called ‘ Stanley cash deposit receipt’. Carry this receipt to any branch of Axis Bank or Citi bank (and no other bank) and make fee payment of USD 160 there
  • Keep the receipt safe as you have to submit it as a proof of visa fee payment during your visa interview
  • It will take 3-10 hours for your ‘ustraveldocs’ account to reflect your fee payment
  • After this, you can book your visa slot
  • While booking your visa slot, first you need to schedule OFC (Offsite Facilitation Centre) appointment to submit your biometric information
  • After this, the next available visa slots are shown. Schedule your visa interview and save the visa appointment letter as you need to submit it at the time of visa interview
  • It is advisable to have a gap of at least 2 days between OFC and visa interview dates
  • Next, you need to make SEVIS payment (USD 200) at least 3 working days before the visa interview day because it takes 48 hours to get activated (Link to pay SEVIS fee: Keep the receipt carefully as you need to submit it during your visa interview

OFC Appointment Day

On the day of OFC appointment, you need to carry – DS 160 confirmation receipt and visa fee payment receipt issued by the bank, passport and other documents

On The Day Of Visa Interview

  1. Do not carry mobile phones or any electronic devices
  2. Dress up in formals
  3. Arrive at the queue line 1 hour before the scheduled appointment time
  4. Keep this documents handy:
    • DS 160 confirmation form (DS 160 form with stamp after submitting biometric data at OFC. They won’t accept the form without OFC stamp)
    • Visa fee payment receipt issued by Axis/Citi bank
    • Passport
    • SEVIS fee payment receipt
    • I-20
    • Visa appointment letter

Other supporting documents:

  • Academics (all originals)
    • Admission letters and I-20s of all universities
    • GRE score card – print-out
    • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scorecard
    • 10th, Intermediate mark list
    • Tech memos (semester-wise)
    • Degree certificate (OD, CMM, PC)
  • Financial documents
    • Bank loan sanction letter
    • Fixed deposit receipts
    • Bank statement showing current bank balance (savings account only)
    • Pay slips of the sponsor
    • Form-60 (IT returns)
    • Any supporting property documents such as property evaluation, land documents, assets, gold, CA/CE verified documents
  • Work experience
    • Appointment Letter
    • Pay slips
    • Form-60 (if available)
    • Company ID card
  • Additional Documents
    • Photograph
    • ID proof
    • SoP, Resume (for supporting)

What Happens If Visa Is Approved?

  • If the Visa Officer accepts your visa, then he will keep your passport with him
  • After 1-2 days, you can collect the passport at the OFC. You need to carry an ID proof (original and photocopy) when you go to collect the passport. Some students opt for receiving the passport directly at their home through courier/post

what to do if your visa got rejected?

  • If the Visa Officer rejects your visa, then he will give you passport back immediately
  • You need to reapply for visa interview for next available slot. A gap of 2 weeks is advisable

What Is 221(G)?

  • It is a letter given by the Consulate to some applications who need to submit additional documents or whose documents need administrative processing i.e. further verification
  • You need to submit the documents within 1 year from the date of receipt of this letter
  • If the Consulate itself kept your application on hold, it may take 30-60 days to know the status of the visa status (accepted or rejected). You can check the status online also

What Is 214(B) Refusal?

    • If Visa Officer gets the suspicion that a student
    • would not return after pursuing his studies,
    • cannot pay for his tuition fee

then such students are given 214(b) rejection

  • If this is given to a student, he/she can reapply if the situations that led to visa rejection can be changed – Eg: Applying for bank loan etc.

Dos And Don’ts For Visa Interview:

  • Always wish the Visa Officer with a smile
  • Answer the questions in short, without any gaps
  • Do not feel tense about cordiality of Visa Officers
  • Do not provide irrelevant or extra information which you have not prepared for during your mock interviews
  • Maintain proper eye contact

Note: Answers to the commonly asked questions in VISA interview are not same for everyone. It depends from person to person, profile to profile and context to context.

We wish you all the very best for your VISA interview process and If needed any help, feel free to visit our office.