Minister counselor for consular affairs, Julia Stanley, announced that beginning September 26, US visa applicants will be able to pay application fees via electronic fund transfer (EFT) or with their mobile phones. They can also pay in cash at more than 1,800 Axis Bank branches.
Now, applicants can schedule their appointments online or by phone by contacting a call centre whose representatives will answer queries in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati and Telugu.
Stanley added that the major difference from the current system was that first-time applicants will need to schedule two appointments : one for fingerprint collection at an offsite facilitation centre and one for consular interview at the embassy or consulate.
In March, the US mission in India introduced the interview waiver programme (IWP) that allows applicants who meet certain criteria to be considered for waivers of personal interviews.