A US visa interview will now be a two-day affair instead of just one, the US consulate announced on Wednesday evening.
Officials said spreading out the process over two days would make it smoother and faster.
The changes in the visa proceedings have been brought to effect from Wednesday.
Photographs will be clicked and fingerprints collected on the first day. The second day will be reserved for the interview.
“On the first day, a person applying for the visa will have to visit the offsite facilitation centre to get the photograph clicked and give his fingerprints,” said Lauren B. Armenise, vice-consul, Consulate General of the US, in Calcutta. “The second visit will be made to the consulate for the interview.”
Spliting the process will make it less cumbersome for a visa-seeker, who would not have to spend more than an hour on each of the two days, said officials.
The US embassies and consulates in India, which introduced the new system, said visa-seekers under the old system had to spend the entire day at the consulate because taking the photograph, giving fingerprints and the visa interview all happened on the same day.
“People will now be able to make appointments by calling up the call centres. They will be able to telephone and get dates according to their convenience. The two dates could be between a day and 10 days apart,” said Wendy Kennedy, consular section chief of the Consulate General of the United States of America.
“A call centre has come up at Hyderabad, apart from the one at Noida,” she added.