Installment One Hundred Forty-Three:
New non-immigrant visa appointment and fee process.
Beginning March 15, 2013, the US Embassy in Georgetown will implement a new procedure to simplify and streamline the visa application process for those traveling to the United States. With this new procedure, applicants will schedule non-immigrant visa interview appointments by visiting the following website: http://usvisa-info.com.
Q: What is changing?
The visa application fee will not increase with the coming changes.
We will announce specific details on this new visa application process closer to March 15, 2013. The implementation of this new system is part of a State Department effort to continually improve services for visa applicants throughout the world.
Q: When will the change happen?
March 15, 2013.
Q: How is the process changing?
As of March 15, 2013, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) will handle certain services on behalf of the Embassy, including responding to calls for visa information and scheduling appointments. Applicants will pay their non-immigrant visa processing fees at Bank of Baroda instead of at the US Embassy.
The current process requires all applicants to complete the visa application (DS-160) online. That part of the process is not changing. After applicants submit the DS-160 online, they will need to set up an online account with CSC, print a payment slip, and present the payment slip to the Bank of Baroda when they pay their visa application fee. They can then make their interview appointment online using the CSC website: http://usvisa-info.com
Q: Why is the US Embassy changing the process?
The Embassy wants to provide the best service possible to our visa applicants by streamlining our process and making it more convenient and consistent worldwide.
Q: How will the change impact people who are already scheduled?
The Consular Section will honour all appointments already made under the current online appointment system. Applicants should arrive at the Embassy as instructed in their confirmation emails. Some appointments are still available for interviews before March 15. Appointments for interviews after March 15 cannot be scheduled until the new system becomes active on March 15.
Q: What if someone does not have online access?
Applicants who do not have online access are encouraged to obtain assistance from family, friends or internet cafes to complete this new process.
Q: Will the new process affect the wait time to get an appointment?
No. The wait time fluctuates based on demand for visas.
Q: What are the negatives?
The Consular Affairs Bureau of the Department of State believes that the new process will be more efficient and will improve visa services.
“Ask the Consul” is a fortnightly column from the US Embassy answering questions about US immigration law and visa issues. If you have a general question about visa policy please email it to us at AskGeorge@state.gov. We select questions every other week and publish the answers in Stabroek News and on our website at http://georgetown.usembassy.gov/ask-the-consul.html. Information about visas and travel can be viewed at http://georgetown.usembassy.gov, http://travel.state.gov, and at http://www.dhs.gov. Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid “visa advisors/brokers”.
Other than the questions we select, we DO NOT respond to questions sent to Ask the Consul. Please contact the visa inquiries unit (email email@example.com or call 225-7965 between 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday) if you have questions about a specific case.