No interview for some Indian US visa applicants
From September onwards, Indian visa applicants will have a lenient process as US Commerce Embassy has decided to do away with the interview for certain visa applicants under certain age categories. In its recent communication, the US visa authorities have announced not to interview visa applicants below the age of 14 years as well as those above the age of 79 years (under certain conditions). The decision is set to give a shot in the arm for US-bound Indians especially those who are looking forward to visit or stay with their family.
The move is aimed at reducing the time taken to renew the visa and improve the customer service for applicants. An applicant needs to visit any of the 11 US visa centers in the country and submit their passport and visa application. To improve the applicant’s experience, the decision about visa processing would be made within 7 to 10 days, however, in some cases, the applicant can be asked to appear for an interview even if they are in the age group exempted from the interview.
The US embassy made it clear; if an applicant is asked to appear for an interview then he/she will have to appear for interview at the designated visa centre. At present, the US visa centers are in 10 Indian cities namely – New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, Chandigarh, Pune and Jalandhar.
It is believed that the recent development is linked to United States hitting it a new low in its share in global tourism in year 2018. As per US Travel Association, US share is down to 11.7% from 13.7% in year 2015.
The fall in footfalls in US tourism sector has hurt US economy badly as it lost 1.4 million business visitors, $59 billion revenue from international travellers and 1,20,000 jobs. US travel association expressed concerns that the trend can’t be reversed until 2022.
India is one of the biggest contributors to US economy and tourism sector and hence the new visa rule change signals a policy change for the Asian giant. One must also keep in mind the US and China trade war which has hurt both US and China and this could be a small effort to make up for the loss in US tourism sector.
In 2019, total of 79.8 million travellers visited United States while the corresponding figures for Canada, Mexico and other foreign travel destinations are 20.1 million, 18.2 million and 40.6 million respectively.
Considering the recent rule change, it is widely expected that more Indian visa applicants would be joining the queue to take benefit of interview waiver under the new system. Resettlement Solution is one of the visa solution partner which can assist and guide an applicant to sail through eh application process.