Scheduling Group Appointments for Nonimmigrant Visas in India05 Oct 2022
If certain criteria are met, a group of ten or more applicants may schedule a group appointment at a U.S. consulate. An overview of the process of scheduling such an appointment at a U.S. consular post in India is provided here for the benefit of MurthyDotCom readers. The process is similar at other U.S. consular posts, and specific instructions generally can be found on each consulate’s website.
Certain categories of applicants traveling to the United States as a group may request interview appointments on the same date and time if there are at least ten applicants traveling for the same purpose. A few examples of the types of groups that may qualify include professional trainees, performance troops, and tour groups. Family members of group applicants, however, are not eligible for group appointment requests.
Submitting a Group Appointment Request
To schedule a group appointment, a member of the group must be designated as the “coordinator.” The coordinator must create a profile on the CGI website. After logging in, the coordinator should select the “Group Scheduling Request” option. This page will require certain information, such as 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 consider the request. If the request is approved, the eMail will advise the coordinator to schedule appointments for each member of 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
Once the consular post approves the group scheduling request, the coordinator will have limited time to schedule the visa interview appointment. Each group member must complete form DS-160 and pay the visa application fee.
Once logged in, the group coordinator will be able to see the group name and the number of people for whom the appointment is approved. The group coordinator should choose the option “Add by Name” and enter each applicant’s passport number, visa application fee receipt number, and ten-digit DS-160 confirmation number to schedule the group appointment. The coordinator will also have to include each applicant’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 in the group appointment.”
After including all the applicants, the coordinator should state the address where the passports can be delivered. All passports must be delivered to the same location. Each applicant’s fee receipt number needs to be entered to continue. On the next screen, a calendar will be displayed with available visa appointment dates. Once the preferred date is selected, the applicants need to carry the appointment confirmation page along with their respective passports and 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.
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