I recently applied for a US B2 visa and got approved. I wanted to pen down my experience with my application in the hope that it will be useful to prospective applicants, as I myself had to figure a lot out for myself on the fly and the information being a bit outdated and too scattered. Please bear in mind that I received my visa in India.
Applicants are first required to fill the DS-160 form available online. Please fill this very carefully, as this decides, IMHO, almost 60-70% of whether or not your application gets approved. Answer all the questions truthfully and provide as much detail as you can.
Scheduling your visits
After submitting your DS-160, you have to schedule your appointments here. According to the new process, you are required to make two visits to as part of your application.
While scheduling your interview date, please be careful regarding this. You will be asked to pick your interview date first, and then another date to visit the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC). However the actual order of visits would be to visit the OFC first and then the Consular Office.
Some of the key points to keep in mind while filling and submitting your application:
- If you are paying the fees via. NEFT transfer, please take a screenshot of the transaction page for future reference – you may be asked to produce this (though not usual)
- Print the DS-160 confirmation page as this is checked at every point in your application
Visit to the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC)
My visit to the OFC was very pleasant and quick. I was asked to produce my DS-160 confirmation page and my passport. Shortly after, I was ushered into a waiting hall where I was issued a token and thereby called for biometrics submission. The biometrics consisted of the following 4 items:
- Fingerprints of left-hand’s four finger
- Fingerprints of right-hand’s four fingers
- Fingerprints of both the thumbs
- A digital photograph
My DS-160 confirmation was stamped and I was asked to leave for the day.
Please note that you are not required to carry a photograph to your interview unless you are explicitly asked to do so at the OFC.
On the day of the interview, as advised, I reached the venue about 15 minutes prior to my scheduled interview time. After sometime in the queue, I was ushered into the consular office. All items taken in were scanned and returned back. After some more time in the queue, I was asked to submit my passport for biometric verification. After the biometrics were confirmed, I was handed back my passport and was asked to proceed to the interview.
There were about 10 interviewers behind counters taking the interviews. After having a brief chat about why I was going to the US, and how I would sponsor it, my interviewer told me that my visa was approved and that I could collect my passport in a few days.
I recommend being clear and unambiguous to the interviewer to facilitate easy processing of the application. The longer the interviewer had to spend trying to understand what you say, the more difficult it is to get your visa approved (just my observation – no claims).
Few things to keep in mind during the interview day:
- When they say no electronics allowed into the consular office, they mean it. Not only are mobiles, laptops, etc. not allowed, but also electronic car key chains aren’t as well.
- Carry your old/expired passports as well
- Dress formally; Be confident and honest
Wishing you all the very best for your applications.