New procedure for US F1 student VISA for Indian applicants

Effective from 26th September 2012, US consulate have started implementing a new F1 VISA processing throughout India for Indian students wishing to study in USA. Hence, all the FALL 2013 applicants will have to follow this new process to apply for VISA. This article explains this new F1 VISA application process in India.

New US F1 VISA process
Follow these steps in order to successfully obtain a US student F1 VISA.

Every Indian student wishing to pursue higher education in US must pay the non-immigrant VISA application fee(F1 VISA application fee) and the SEVIS fee. Both these payments are mandatory for F1 VISA and your VISA will not be approved unless you have made these payments. For more information about the fees and modes of payment, read this article: What is the US F1 VISA fee amount for Indian applicants and how to make VISA fee payment?

Step 2: Complete the DS-160 form
The US non-immigrant VISA application form, commonly called as the DS-160 form, needs to be filled, reviewed and submitted. You do not need the VISA application and SEVIS fee receipts while filling or submitting this form. So, you can even complete this form before the payment of fees. Read this article for the instructions for filling DS-160 form: How to fill the DS-160 form for F1 VISA application for Indian applicants. You can also find a link to the sample DS-160 form as per the new procedure in this article.

Step 3: Schedule 2 appointments
You need to schedule 2 appointments instead of 1 according to the new process adopted by the US consulate. You will require the following 3 details before you can schedule these two appointments:
   a) Passport number
   b) Date of application fee payment
   c) DS-160 form 10 digit barcode number 
The first appointment that you need to schedule is your normal VISA interview appointment, This appointment is the actual VISA interview appointment where you will have to take all your financial and academic documents for the VISA stamping. 
As per the new procedure, you will also have to schedule a second appointment called the Offsite Facilitation Center(OFC). You will have to give your fingerprints and your photo will be taken at the OFC. The OFC appointment must be at least 1 day before your VISA interview appointment.

Step 4: Visit OFC (Offsite Facilitation Center) for fingerprints and photo
After scheduling of the appointments, you will have to visit the OFC for your fingerprints and photograph. For a list of OFC locations for F1 VISA and documents required, read this article: List of OFC locations and documents required for F1 VISA OFC appointment in India.  

Step 5: Visit the US consulate for your VISA interview
After successful photograph and fingerprint scanning at OFC, you will have to visit the US consulate that you selected during scheduling of your first appointment. Your documents verification and F1 VISA interview will take place and your VISA accept or reject will be immediately informed after your VISA interview. For a list of all documents required for F1 VISA interview, read this article: List of all documents for F1 VISA interview in India

Proof of financial resources for F1 VISA interview
We have compiled a comprehensive article regarding proof of financial resources to help applicants prepare all the necessary documentation for F1 VISA interview. All your doubts regarding the financial documentation will be solved after reading this article. Here is the link for this article: Preparation of financial documents for F1 VISA applicants in India.

For more informative articles on F1 VISA process and commonly asked F1 VISA questions, visit this section of our website: US F1 VISA details