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Can't make it to your US visa interview?
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October 23, 2006

What happens if, for some reason, you miss your US visa appointment? Richard Sherman, Deputy Consul General, New Delhi, answers this question and more related to the new US visa appointment rules. His advice: 

'If you fail to cancel your appointment prior to the interview date, you are considered a "no-show" and your receipt is de-activated for 90 days. However, if you are a genuine applicant, you may visit a VFS location with your passport and HDFC receipt, explain your position, and VFS will be able to reactivate your receipt, allowing you to then schedule a new appointment online.'

For those who missed the chat, here's the transcript:

Part I: New US visa appointment rules


Richard Sherman, Your visa receipt from HDFC is valid for one year from date of purchase. If you are unable to attend your originally scheduled interview, you should cancel that appointment as soon as you know that you are unable to attend so that someone else may have use of that appointment. Then you may certainly use your receipt to rebook a new appointment without paying a new fee through the VFS website. If, however, you have modified or canceled your appointment more than twice, you will need to visit a VFS location with your receipt and passport and verify that you are genuine applicant who needs to reschedule, so that VFS can reactivate your receipt. Since you did not cancel your appointment on October 12 before your scheduled time, you are considered a "no-show" and you need to visit a VFS location to have your receipt reactivated, at which time you can then go back online and reschedule your appointment.

darshan asked, Is a recommendation letter required by 4 people if you are planning to go to study to US. If no then in what case is the letter required is it for immigration

Richard Sherman, 
No recommendation letters are required to apply for a student visa to the US. The decision on your case will be based on the merits of your self and your performance during the interview, not on statements or recommendations from third parties. You must have an I-20 from a US educational institution verifying your acceptance by that institution and be able to show evidence of ability to cover all expenses related to the study. Your performance in school in India and any exams required as part of admission to the US university will be considered as factors in determining your likelihood of success in your studies and therefore your commitment to return to India.

Geetha asked, Dear Sir, If I apply for USA Visa this month, Can I get appointment for Interview before by next month

Richard Sherman, 
Geetha, that's the question of the day! There are currently appointments available at all locations in India within the next ten business days. If you are here in New Delhi, there are appointments available next week.

parni asked, i cant seem to find any dates available for VISA appointment?can u help?

Richard Sherman, 
I suggest you visit the VFS web site. There are many appointments still available through the end of this year. Good luck!

Guest asked, You asked, Dear Sir, I am happy to note that the delays in appointments have now been reduced. Could you tell us if our waiting time in the visa queue at the consulates have also been reduced? We normally have to stand for hours together without even a drink of water for a visa. Is there any improvement there?

Richard Sherman, 
We are taking steps to refine the visa application process within the Embassy and Consulates to reduce the time that applicants must wait on the day of their appointment. We believe we are starting to achieve success in this area; indeed, the operator of the snack cart at the Embassy in New Delhi has recently complained to us that his business has dropped dramatically in the past four weeks as people are spending much less time in the waiting room for their appointments.

gangaram asked, Dear Mr. Sherman, My age is 55. My daughter and son-in-law are in Dallas and now hold green card. I was allowed B1/B2 visa in August 04 with 10 yrs validity. I visted Dallas in October 04. Meanwhile my old passport expired and so I obtained a new passport. My surname is Mishra. But passport officer mentioned it as Misra in the old passport which contain the US visa. While issuing new passport my surname was corrected to Mishra. I have planned my 2nd US visit on 14th December. US server have my fingerprints and both my passports are related together. Could I travel to US based on old visa or I shall have to apply for new. If I go for new visa will embassy stamp the new visa based old docs or they shall ask for all supporting papers again

Richard Sherman, 
Visas in expired passports remain valid for the life of the visa, as long as you carry a current passport along with the expired passport. However, in instances where there has been a correction to vital information (such as your surname) we recommend that you apply for a fresh visa in your new passport showing the corrected name.

Avani asked, sir, i have visa interview date on 6th feb 2006 , can i get the earlier one?

Richard Sherman, 
Yes. We encourage you to move your appointment forward to any date in 2006 that is convenient to you. Visit the VFS web site for the city that covers your location to find an available appointment.

bb asked, Dear Sir, If a person is a 'no-show' does his receipt get blocked for any fiexed period of time or can get get another interview date as soon as he can get it re-activated by the VFS? Please guide. Thank you.

Richard Sherman, 
If you fail to cancel your appointment prior to the interview date, you are considered a "no-show" and your receipt is deactivated for 90 days. However, if you are a genuine applicant, you may visit a VFS location with your passport and HDFC receipt, explain your position, and VFS will be able to reactivate your receipt, allowing you to then schedule a new appointment online.

kkrun asked, Heartfelt thanks for this effort. Though I cannot resist telling this: I am working with a US-based company as an international employee based in New Delhi. In Sept this year, I was invited alongwith my wife for a company sponsored weekend. However, my wife could get an appointment only on 23rd Jan 07! And since this was only a picnic, I could not ask for making an emergency appointment. Now, may be, we get a chance next year.. I am really thankful for this effort by US Embassy.

Richard Sherman, 
Your situation is one of the reasons that we concluded it was past time to rectify this problem. We have taken steps to greatly increase appointments for the rest of 2006 and are actively reviewing our available resources to ensure that we have sufficient staff and facilities to cope with likely demand in 2007.

Nis asked, Sir can you answer my following question on BEP based Visa? I have recently read news article that US consulate office is considering revising current BEP policy to include more companies. Can you give some more info on this? Our company has 3 offices in India and 3 in US with 600 persons working in India and 1000+ in US. Can our company get enrolled in BEP? We fall under Mumbai consulate. What are the steps to enroll?

Richard Sherman, 
We are actively seeking to expand the BEP program throughout India. So you should definitely get in contact with the Mumbai Consulate on procedures to become a member of BEP through them. I can advise that Mumbai alone initiated five new companies into its BEP program in the last two weeks.

rse asked, Hello Sir, When the H1B cap quota starts for a year and when can we start applying for it??????

Richard Sherman, 
The H1B cap has already been reached for our fiscal year 2007, which began on October 1, 2006. The Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in the U.S. will begin accepting petitions for fiscal year 2008 on April 1, 2007.

Slash asked, Hi Richard, The visa charges 2400 INR that we submit at the time of interview for a Business Visa, are they subject to change based on dollar rates? I have an interview sheduled 1st week of november and have already prepared a Demand draft for the same. Please advise

Richard Sherman, 
The cost of a US visa for an Indian citizen for tourism or temporary work is US$150. The rupee exchange rate for this amount does vary, based on the movement of the rupee against the dollar. We monitor it regularly and adjust the rate as needed to account for movements of the rupee. We try to announce changes at least three weeks in advance.

Prasenjit asked, How long will it take for tourist visas ( for parents) to get processed now?

Richard Sherman, 
Regrettably, our time is limited for this web chat and we have reached the end. Just to reiterate our main point that visa appointments are now available nationwide within ten business days, so you should encourage your parents to book their appointment now, even if they may not intend to travel for several months. Thank you to everyone for your many questions. I hope we have been able to answer most of them through the questions that I did respond to. Best wishes to all, Richard Sherman

 Part I: New US visa appointment rules

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Sir, How to cancel US VISA interview and postphone to another date.

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Sub: H1B visa - need inputs

I applied for H1B visa through my employer two years back. I gave all the certificates. After one and half years I was told that ...

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