Nonimmigrant Visas: If specific criteria are met, a group of ten candidates might plan a group appointment at a U.S. office. An overview of the process of planning such an appointment at a U.S. consular post in India is given here to the advantage of MurthyDotCom readers. The process is like other U.S. consular posts, and specific instructions generally can be found on each consulate’s website.
Background | Nonimmigrant Visas
Certain categories of candidates traveling to the US as a group might request an interview appointment on a similar date and time if at least ten candidates are going for a similar reason. A couple of instances of the types of groups that might qualify include professional trainees, performance troops, and tour groups. Family members of group candidates, however, are not eligible for group appointment requests.
Submitting a Group Appointment Request
To plan a group appointment, an individual from the group should be designated as the “coordinator.” The coordinator should create a profile on the CGI site. After logging in, the coordinator should select the “Group Scheduling Request” option. This page will require specific data, for example, the group name, reason for travel, and preferred interview date. The coordinator will also need to upload any relevant supporting documents.
Once the request for a group appointment has been submitted, the consular post will review and think about the request. If the request is approved, the email will advise the coordinator to plan appointments for every individual from the group. If the request for a group appointment is denied, the consular post will notify the coordinator of the denial via email.
Steps to Schedule a Group Appointment
When the consular post approves the group planning request. The coordinator will have a restricted chance to plan the visa interview appointment. Each group member should complete form DS-160 and pay the visa application fee.
When signed in, the group coordinator will want to see the group name and the number of individuals for whom the appointment is approved. The group coordinator should choose the option “Add by Name” and enter every candidate’s passport number, visa application fee receipt number, and ten-digit DS-160 confirmation number to plan the group appointment. The coordinator will also need to include every candidate’s phone number and email address. If the coordinator plans to apply along with the group, then the coordinator should choose the option. To “Include yourself for the group appointment.”
After including all of the candidates, the coordinator should express the location where the passports can be delivered. All passports should be delivered to a similar area. Every candidate’s fee receipt number should be placed to proceed. On the following screen, a calendar will be shown with available visa appointment dates. Once the preferred date is selected, the candidates need to carry the appointment confirmation page. Along with their respective passports and the DS-160 confirmation page for the visa interview.
Group appointments are a convenient option for groups that qualify. This appointment option also serves as a means for U.S. consular posts to streamline the visa application process. It improves efficiency and accuracy as several candidates can be processed together creating economies of scale for all concerned.