US consulate takes steps to facilitate travel visa procedures
Agents are given the privilege of creating a personal profile online
To ease the process of procuring travel visas for the United States, the American Consulate has introduced two new facilities.
Addressing a group of over 100 travel agents at the Brand USA seminar here on Tuesday, Nicholas J Manning, chief of Consular Services, US Consulate General, Chennai, said that “group appointments” where a travel agent with a group of over 10 applicants can have a common day booked in advance for visa processing.
The second initiative, “Travel Arranger” aims to help people save time by making online appointments more user-friendly. Through this newly activated facility provided on the website, travel agents are given the privilege of creating a personal profile on the system.
The email ids of agents are registered and linked to the Consulate site through these profiles — easing the procedure for their clients. “When the travel agent has a profile, the others need not have an individual profile and thus multiple-visa appointments can be availed,” Nicholas explained.
Nicholas said that there had been a five to seven per cent increase in the demand for US visas from South Indian states in the past three months.
In addition, the demand for student visas from across India was up by 74 per cent as compared to the previous year. About seven per cent of the non-immigrant US visa applications come from India.
Official information about visa requirements and the application processes are available on www.chennai.usconsulate.gov/howtoapply.html or www.ustraveldocs.com/in.