Visa extension now needs no interview
Posted on December 9, 2014
CHENNAI: Now, repeat travellers to the US may renew their visas, in the same class for which they applied earlier, without appearing at the US embassy or consulate for an interview.
The US consulate Chennai has recently expanded their interview waiver programme to include applicants other than those more than 80 years old and under 14 years. Officials said that applicants could save time and money in travelling to the consulate through the interview waiver programme.
The US consulate in Chennai waived the interview for over 13,000 applicants this fiscal year, consulate officials said. “We expect this number to go up because of the many renewal applications from people who have applied for visas after 2008,” consular chief Lawrence Mire said. tnnTo make use of this facility, the most recent visa of the applicant (who does not belong to the elderly or child category) should have been issued in India after August 1, 2004. Applicants who received their visa after January 1, 2008, will not need to be re-fingerprinted. Others will have to get their fingerprints taken.
The prior visa of the applicant should not have been annotated ‘Clearance Received’ or ‘Department Authorisation’. The consulate specifies that the most recent visa should not have been lost or stolen, and that it should have been issued on or after the applicant’s 14th birthday. The applicant should not have had any refusals for a visa in any category after the most recent visa issuance.
Students and those going on cultural exchanges can also make use of this facility for the same visa for the same academic institution, if their visa is still valid or expired within the last 48 months. Blanket L1 visa applicants do not qualify for the interview waiver programme, but Blanket L-2 spouses are eligible to apply for a renewal under this scheme.
Applicants who fulfil these criteria can fill out the form online. Those who came to the consulate after January 1, 2008, and submitted 10 fingerprints can drop off their application at one of the 11 drop off locations around the country. If the applicant got his or her visa after August 1, 2004, but before January 1, 2008, and submitted two prints, he or she needs to make an appointment at the Chennai Visa Application Centre where they can get their fingerprints taken and drop off their application.