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May 29th 2023

How to get a U.S. visa appointment from India

This article provides an overview of the U.S. visa application process coming from India, from understanding your visa type’s requirements to getting a visa appointment and passing your visa interview.

For those looking to move to the U.S. from India, here is a step-by-step guide on how to get a visa appointment in the U.S. as part of your visa application process.

1) Determine your visa type

First, choose the type of visa that you will be applying for, depending on if you plan to study, work, join family, or move for some other reason. 

If you plan to study in the U.S., get started with our ultimate guide to the F-1 Visa

If you plan to work in the U.S., read our top resources on the various options available:

If you plan to apply for permanent residency through work, family or another path, review the types of permanent immigrant visas and their various requirements, as they have different application processes than non-immigrant visas do. 

Once you have decided your visa type, create an account with USTravelDocs, the official website of the Department of State’s Visa Application Services. Here you will pay your visa fee, book your appointment, and track your visa status.

2) Fill out DS-160

All non-immigrant visa applicants from India must fill out Form DS-160, the U.S. Department of State’s Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form. Note that you will not be able to edit this form once you’ve submitted it, so make sure that you have correctly input your information.

Once you have submitted the DS-160, you will get an alphanumeric barcode confirmation page. Print this page and prepare to bring it for your visa appointments.

3) Pay your visa fee

Once your DS-160 form is submitted, you will need to pay your visa fees through your USTravelDocs account. Check how much your visa fee is by your visa type and pay the fee online through one of the approved payment methods.

4) Schedule your appointments

In order to get your visa approved, you will next need to schedule two different appointments using the “Schedule an Appointment” feature in your USTravelDocs account or by calling their call center.

Visa Application Center appointment

First, you will schedule an appointment with one of the Visa Application Centers (VAC) to have your fingerprints and photos taken. There are VACs in India in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and New Delhi, and you should select the one nearest to you.

Note: this must be done at least one day before your appointment at the U.S. Consulate.

Visa Interview Appointment at U.S. Consulate / Embassy

Second, schedule a U.S. visa appointment from India with one of the U.S. consulates or embassies. The purpose of this appointment is to collect all of your visa application documents and conduct your visa interview to formally approve your visa.

If you need to request an expedited appointment, you can complete the Expedited Request Form through your account or contact the call center. Be sure to calmly explain the level or urgency and reason for the request.

Also read: H1-B Visa Interview Prep and F-1 Visa interview Prep

Make sure to be on time and bring the following documents to this appointment: 

  • Indian passport

  • Visa interview appointment confirmation letter

  • DS-160 confirmation stamped at by the VAC

  • Any supporting evidence relevant to your visa category (e.g. H1-B approval notice and successful work petition for H1-B visa or I-20 form and university acceptance for a F-1 visa).

If approved, you will submit your passport to be stamped with your visa. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of turnaround time, depending on your visa type and application volumes.

The takeaway

If you plan ahead and follow the steps in this guide, it will be straightforward to get a U.S. visa appointment from India. Research the requirements and timelines for your specific visa type and be ready to book your appointments as soon as you are eligible to.

Once you have booked your visa appointment and conducted your visa interview, you’re well on your way to starting your life in the U.S. When you finally move to the U.S., Nova Credit can help you use your foreign credit history from India to apply for several essential products and services from our partners. 

This means that you can apply for great credit cards, phone plans, and more from using your hard-earned credit history from back home—rather than needing to start from scratch. If you are approved for these products and manage them responsibly, you will start to quickly build a U.S. credit history.

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New to the United States? Apply for a U.S. credit card using your foreign credit history. Explore cards