Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) is an outsourcing service provider for the United States for its work related to visa processing. US consulates and embassies are the world's busiest posts for visa application and adjudication (processing).
VFS was appointed in October 2005, to provide information, appointments and courier services to applicants throughout India. Under this system, applicants are asked to complete their visa forms online using an interactive website that assists applicants in avoiding data entry errors.
But how do you use this system? What's the best way to utlise VFS in order to secure your dream visa?
Dr Arun Vakil, US visa expert, chatted with Get Ahead users on July 26, 2007. He discussed how to use the VFS web site and several other visa issues.
For those of you who missed the chat, here's part one of the transcript:
bala asked,Hi Arun..hope you are keeping..i would like to know if there is anything like a good time to reapply when your visa has been rejected the first time round!
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Question is not of 'time' but your being prepared with new evidence that can clear any misconceptions or misunderstanding that may have arose in the first attempt. If you go with the same preparation that you had on the first meeting, it has no meaning.
Anju asked, Gd evng sir, could u plz tell me how can i apply $ US
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Visit www.vfs-usa.co.in --that will guide you through the process
24prayag asked, Hi arun, i am pursuing my commercial pilot trg course. for this i plan on going to usa to complete my flying hours. i had my interview day before yesterday, but the officer rejected me, on the grounds that i did not pass my license exams, and that i also did not possess a ground training class coaching certificate. i told him one needs 50 hours of flying before attempting the exam, but he would not oblige. i am re-applying again, and am in the process of acquiring my ground theory classes certificate as well. my school-head, on finding out from the consulate told me my visa got rejected because the officer thought i was not confident enough while answering. please help me, i really want to pursue my career, and dont want a visa interview to hold me back.
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Yours is a case that needs detailed study by a professional to comment on it. Consult a professional person for assistance or contact me on 22812424 in Mumbai.
Rajesh asked, I wish to immigrate to usa. what are the basic requirements for that?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Either you have a job in the US or are married to a US citizen in US
prabhakar asked, dear sir, pls clearify following query 1)basic requirment for applying usa visa 2) document required for usa visa application
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Visit VFS web site which gives complete information you seek
Sidhant asked, Hi Arun, I have a B1/B2 Visa provided to my by my Company, I want to apply for my Wife's Visa. How and what kind of Visa options I can avail for.
Dr Arun Vakil answers, She can accompany you on B2.
amanjeet asked, Hello Dr Arun My H1-B has been Approved for 2007 .So Now can I ask our consultant to start searching clients for me or Is it possible to give interviews to US clients before stamping and before flying to US or we have to wait till we got our VISA stamped ?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Your application seems like a cart before the horse. You need to have a job in hand before you seek your H1B. If you go to unprofessional consultants, you are asking trouble
Vanishree asked, Hi Arun, I had been to the US interview visa last year in dec 2006. I got a blue form and they said that they need to find out from my company if they really require me. Not in July i got a status update saying that they are reviewing my details and will update the status. For how long can a person's interview be waited upon ? Can i file again for a H1B this year
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Difficult to say how long this takes. As an option, look for another employer and seek new H1B
jayesh asked, Mr Vakil, I am a lecturer in mathematics and and want to apply for Lectureship jobs in US community colleges or Universities. Is there any special H1-B quota for these jobs? If not then please tell what is the appropriate time to apply for these type of jobs?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, You can apply any time for seeking job as a professor as jobs are advertised for teaching months in advance. You get work through the Internet. Mostly there are no quota restrictions for teaching assignment in H1B
HPatel asked, Can we change the details which i have filled online for DS 156
Dr Arun Vakil answers, You can change details except boxes 1 to 14 in DS 156, two days before your visa call. It would be five days before visa call for Mumbai Consulate.
Ajay Mishra asked, what is the process of making visa and with tell me total cost.
Dr Arun Vakil answers, VFS web site explains the process. Visa fee for non-immigrant visa currently is Rs 4200 plus service charge of Rs 322.
chirag asked, Hi, Mr. Vakil, I Have one question I am applying H1 Stamping next month with my dependents along with me. But my passport does contain my spouse's name in it but in my wife's passport my name is already included. so would it have any problem while going for the interview at the consulate?? Thanks Chirag
Dr Arun Vakil answers, No problem.
Ajay asked, My probem is mr vakil. i have my daughter going for US education this fall. i also want to go for MBA executive. is it ok for two members of same family to leave for abroad?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, No problem so long as you have I-20 and proof of financial and social ties in India as well as source of funding for education in the US
Anju asked, Sr plz tell me how to apply $ US visa. Is it possible to get sponsored by US companies
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Company sponsorship is not allowed. For visa application, visit VFS web site.
premtanand asked, Hai Arun Just want to know regarding student visa in respiratory therapy school
Dr Arun Vakil answers, If you have I-20, you get F1 student visa. It is not subject specific.
sammy asked, I am going in for a L1 stamping in india once my petition is approved in the US,but i find that while interview dates for B1/B2 are available in Kolkata for August, no dates are available for L1 ( non-immigrant with intent to work visa). Why is this so?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Dates are placed on VFS web site on the basis of supply and demand. You have to keep visiting the web site frequently. If you get stuck, call helpline number. in Kolkata which is 033 22882480 email@example.com,
Shreebaba asked, sir, what are the different visas for united states? possibel to go as tourist and end up an employee?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, B2 is for tourism. During your tour, if you can locate an employer who finds you have some special skills useful to him, he files for your H1B. You may have to return to India for visa and go to US again.
Sreenivas asked, Is there any alternate visa for H1B? I mean, any other visa which is near to H1B?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Not exactly. There is one category called H2B which is for unskilled workers like plumbers, fitters, construction workers and so.
bala asked, They say its virtually impossible for a 25 year old to get the Tourist visa..is that true?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, No, this is not true.
faezullahkhan asked, hi arun vakil sir maye america jana chahata hu i am graguade in b.com and computer knowlege
Dr Arun Vakil answers, If you have computer knowledge, register yourself with http://www.nostops.org to get a job.
Alli asked, I don't understand the VFS link to visa? why do we have to go to VFS for US and UK visa?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, This is a facility introduced by US and UK governments to speed up the process of visa issuance. VFS takes care of administrative details of initial screening, checking papers and make things easy for both the Consulates and applicants. It is a good agency to have when there is a large number of applicants.
Sreenivas asked, Hi, Iam woking for an MNC for the past 6 years and tola 7 years of exp. I was in US for 9 months in two trips on B1. This year i tried for H1 but didnt get in radom selction. I want to to US, is there a way to go there apart from B1, L1 and H1?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Employment preference visas can be attempted through employers but one has to wait between two to four years.
raj asked, my fiancee will be going to US next year for her MS.Is it possible for me to accompany her on a dependent visa when we get married and whats the procedure
Dr Arun Vakil answers, You can go as a dependent only after you get married, not before that.
Raghavan asked, Hi Mr. Vakil, Is there a limit to the number of times i can enter the US using an F1 visa? I plan to attend a university interview, come back to INdia the next day and then,enter again within 15 days. would that be a problem from the visa and the immigration point of view?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, If you have multiple entry visa, you can do this. But this is not a normal situation for most people. Usually interviews are done through telephone and a personal visit is not necessary. If you have valid B2, you could do it and then enter on F1.
Mukund asked, Dear Dr Arun, Greetings of the day ! I am working as a software engineer in one of the top IT companies in India. Got my H1 Visa stamped long back and is going to expire on 30 Sep 2007. I am still in India and did't go to US on this visa yet. Is it possible to transfer the visa to another employer while working in India ? Is it legally valid ? Please suggest..
Dr Arun Vakil answers, If you have not used your valid visa then transfer to another company is not possible and not advisable.
SachinT asked, Hi My US B1 visa was rejectd reason being i was unmarried few months my canadian Business visa was rejected because of US rejection now what are my chances of getting B1 OR H1 VISA , i'M software professional
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Visa cannot be rejected because you were unmarried. There must be some other reason that needs to be studied.
vijayd asked, Hi Dr. Arun, I have B1 10 years multiple visa to US on this basis can I apply visa for my wife and son. I visted US in this year for 3 months next tme I want to go with my family, what is your guidance?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, You can certainly take your family in next visit provided you satisfy the conditions of B2 visa. That is: enough funds for travel and return and showing strong financial and social ties in India.
SP asked, How long will it take for a H1B visa holder to get a greencard?
Dr Arun Vakil answers, It varies from individual case to individual case.
Shoeb asked, Hi Arun, My H1 is pending for last one year. Is VFS responsible for assessing my documents again. I am still waiting for their call
Dr Arun Vakil answers, Pending cases are examined either by consulate or USCIS office in Washington DC. VFS has no role in it.
Part II: Tomorrow
Tomorrow at 4 pm Chat with Dr Vakil on US studies and visa issues