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Traveling -- or at least preparing to travel -- is often a harrowing experience. Between visa concerns, booking airline tickets and packing, it can be a hectic ordeal.
But one thing, above all others, is sure to throw your travel plans into chaos -- a lost passport.
That's why Visa Facilitation Service, or VFS, offers the 'Counter Passport Collection' service for US visa applicants. Let's take a look at this option, and how it can save you a headache.
Counter Passport Collection
After your visa interview with the US embassy/consultate, your passport is shipped to the VFS centre in the same city as your interview. 'Counter Passport Collection' allows you to collect your passport over the counter at the VFS centre prior to it being couriered to you.
Please refer to the details and timings for collection in the four centres in India:
Applicants interviewed at the US embassy, New Delhi, may retrieve their passport in all probability the next working day after the interview. Most passports are returned within two/three business days of the interview.
Applicants interviewed at the US consulate, Chennai, may retrieve their passport in all probability the next working day after the interview. Most passports are returned within two/three business days of the interview.
Applicants interviewed at the US consulate, Mumbai, may retrieve their passport in all probability on the same evening of the interview and if not received, then the next working day. Most passports are returned within two-three business days of the interview.
Applicants interviewed at the US consulate, Kolkata, may recieve their passport in all probability the next working day after the interview. If the interview took place on a Friday or a day preceding any consular holiday, in all probability passports can be collected the same evening during 'Counter Passport Collection' hours.
Refer to the chart below for the address and counter collection timings at the four centres in India:
New Delhi US Visa Application centre International Trade Tower, S-2 Level,
Chennai US Visa Application centre
Mumbai US Visa Application centre
Kolkata US Visa Application centre
A limited number of visa applicants may qualify for emergency visa interview appointments. To obtain an emergency appointment you must satisfy one or more of the criteria listed below.
The criteria for applicants from all consular districts
~ You need to obtain emergency medical care or accompany a relative or employer for emergency medical care
~ You need to attend the funeral of an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent or grandchild)
~ You need to attend to an urgent business matter where the need to travel to the US could not be predicted in advance
~ You are a student or exchange visitor who is within 90 days of the start date of your valid program and who was not denied a visa within the last six months
~ You are a temporary worker (H & L visas only) whose visa has expired and who wants to renew your visa and return to your employment in the U.S.
~ You need to make an appearance in a US court
For applicants from the New Delhi and Kolkata consular districts
~ One or more of the criteria above
~ You are a parent, sibling or grandparent who needs to attend the marriage ceremony or graduation of an immediate family member (son, daughter, brother, sister or grandchild).
If you believe you qualify for an emergency appointment, please read the following points very carefully before you try to obtain an emergency appointment.
You must ensure that you have documentary evidence to prove that you satisfy one or more of the criteria for an emergency appointment. (See above)
You cannot obtain an emergency appointment if denied a US visa within the last year
You cannot attend an emergency appointment outside your consular district if you are an Indian or Bhutanese citizen resident in your own country; if you do, your visa application will not be accepted
If you obtain an emergency appointment you are treated as a normal visa applicant; you must qualify for a U.S. visa in every respect
It is unwise to make travel arrangements or pay the visa application fee and VFS service charge without first checking the availability of emergency appointments using the VFS web site
The visa application fee and VFS service charge are non-refundable.
If the consular officer determines you do not have a genuine emergency, as defined by the criteria above, the officer will postpone your interview 120 days from the date you appeared under the emergency provision.
If the consular officer finds you misrepresented your reason for travel to the US, a record of the misrepresentation goes in your case file and may adversely influence the outcome of your current and future visa applications.
Travel to the US to assist a pregnant daughter or daughter-in-law does not qualify you for an emergency appointment. For such travel, book an ordinary visa interview appointment well in advance.
Part I: 'Make your US dream visa a reality'
Part III: Tomorrow
Chat with Dr Vakil at 4 pm on Thursday.
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