The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced that starting July 15, 2023, a new system will be implemented for U.S. visa services on the official DOS Visa Appointment Service website for India. To ensure a smooth transition, the DOS has provided instructions for visa applicants to follow regarding appointment and payment information.

Instructions for U.S. Visa Applicants:

  • Verify and Update Applicant Profile: It is important for visa applicants to review their profiles and ensure that all entered data is accurate and complete. Any necessary corrections should be made promptly.
  • Visa Application Fee Payment: Applicants planning to pay the visa application fee in the near future should complete the payment before July 10, 2023. Due to the system change, payment services will be temporarily unavailable from July 11 to July 14, 2023. Regular payment services will resume on July 15, 2023.
  • Associate Payment Receipt Number: If a visa fee has been paid but not yet associated with the applicant’s profile, it is advised to log into the online profile and enter the payment receipt number as soon as possible to ensure proper processing.
  • Individual Email Addresses: For travel or group coordinators, as well as families with dependent visa applicants included in the primary applicant’s profile, each individual applicant should have a unique email address. In cases where multiple visa applicants share the same email address, it is necessary to update the information so that each applicant has a distinct email address.

While the upcoming system updates may cause temporary inconvenience, the DOS anticipates long-term benefits from the transition to the new Visa Appointment Service website.

Visa Fee Increases

Starting from June 17, 2023, there will be an increase in the application fees for visitor and specific non-immigrant visa categories. The fee for these visa categories will rise from $160 to $185. Additionally, the application fee for certain petition-based non-immigrant visas for temporary workers in the H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories will increase from $190 to $205. It is important to note that applicants who have already paid their visa application fee before June 17, 2023, will not be subject to any additional charges. The fees for most non-petition-based non-immigrant visas have not been updated since 2012, and certain other non-immigrant visa fees have remained unchanged since 2014.

Non-Immigrant Visa Application Fee Payments

As of October 1, 2022, all payments made for non-immigrant visa application fees, also known as the MRV fee, will remain valid for 365 days from the issuance of the payment receipt. During this 365-day period, applicants must schedule an in-person interview or interview waiver appointment. It is important to note that the appointment itself does not need to occur within the 365-day period. All payment receipts issued before October 1, 2022, have been automatically extended until September 30, 2023. Therefore, these receipts will remain valid until the extended date, allowing applicants to proceed with their visa application process accordingly.

Interview Waivers

An applicant may waive the interview if he or she renews any visa in the same category within 48 months of expiration. Those who apply for F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visas who have previously been issued a visa have also been authorized by the Department of State (DOS) to waive an in-person interview if they are applying in their home country. Applicants with previous refusals that have not been waived or overridden are not eligible for this authorization. Applicants may be asked to attend an in-person interview if additional information is needed. If you are applying through the interview waiver process, please allow up to three weeks before your passport is delivered or you are notified it is ready for pickup. You cannot withdraw the passport or expedite the processing during this period.

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