State Department announces pilot program to facilitate tourist visas to Indians

In order to attract more tourists from India, the State Department announced an Interview Waiver Program for foreign visitors who were interviewed and thoroughly screened in conjunction with a prior visa application.
“US Department of State has implemented a program that will allow certain applicants to apply for visas without being interviewed in person at a US consular office,” US Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell said, according to Thaindian News.

Under the Interview Waiver Programme, it will become easier for Indians to visit the United States for tourism and business trips.

In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  • have a previous US visa in the same category as the visa category for which he or she wishes to renew;
  • have their previous visa issued in India;
  • have no refusals for a visa in any category after his or her most recent visa issuance.

Consular officers will retain the authority to interview any applicant who they determine requires a personal appearance.

“Travel and tourism to the US is an important way for us to expand our cultural and commercial ties and increase trade growth between our countries. Total spending by Indians travelling to the US was $4.6 billion last year, up 15 percent from the year before,” she added.

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About tanialara

Tania Lara has a vast experience working as a journalist in Mexico and the U.S. reporting in-depth about the economic contributions and realities of Mexican immigrants. This summer, she will be covering border issues and elections for the 21st Century Border Initiative blog. Her stories about complex cross border matters have been published in Spanish-language media outlets including CNN México, Expansión, and ¡Ahora Sí!, as well as the English-language newspaper The Austin American-Statesman.
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