US eases process for Indians applying for B1, B2, C, and D visas

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The US announced on 21 March that they will waive the personal interview requirement for some Indians who are renewing visas their visas. The new rules will apply to those within categories of B1, B2, C and D visa.

Specifically, under the new programme Indian applicants seeking to renew a visa that is still valid or has expired within the last 4 years will be eligible to apply for a new visa without an interview. These changes would apply to applicants of B1 and B2 Visitor visas, C Transit visas, and D Crewmember visas.

"This new programme will permit consular officers to waive interviews for some qualified applicants who are renewing their visa within 48 months or four years, of expiration of their previous visa and within the same classification as the previous visa," Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Janice Jacobs said.

Jacobs said the changes are part of a larger plan to boost business and tourism between the countries. She added that the elimination of the interview for applicants who qualify will save them time and money and will also free up "our resources for interviewing more first time applicants".

"Beginning today, our consulates in India are introducing a new programme to streamline the visa renewal process. Over time, this programme has the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of visa applicants here in India," she said.

However, it is important to note that not all US visa applicants will be accepted for streamlined processing.

"India and US share mutual interest in global security and countering terrorism around the world. So, maintaining strict security standards in our visa process is a fundamental importance to all of our citizens. For that reason, our consular officers may request an applicant to appear in person for interview at any time for any reason during the visa application process," she said.

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