How to Apply for a Non-immigrant US Visa

How to Apply for a Non-immigrant US Visa

Written by Overseas Education Consultant and Study Abroad Career Counsellor in Mumbai, Karan Gupta


Applying online


Step 1: All nonimmigrant visa applicants except "Officials travelling on government business" and "Officials of international organisation travelling for official purpose" must pay the Application Fee and VFS Service Charge at a designated branch of HDFC bank before applying for a visa.


Step 2: You will need to use the barcode number from your HDFC Bank Fee Receipt in order to schedule an appointment. Use the link ‘Apply for a Non-immigrant Visa’ for online registration


Step 3: Report to the US Embassy or Consulate where your appointment for a visa interview is scheduled. You will need to bring the printed Appointment Letter, the Visa Application Forms, one recent photograph, the original HDFC Bank Fee Receipt with its two barcode stickers, and a Demand Draft for the Issuance Fee to the interview.


Procedure to schedule an online interview at the Mumbai Consulate (check it)


Counter Service

Applicants can seek information at any US Visa Application Centre located in 12 cities across India. Applicants have the option of submitting visa applications across-the- counter at these Centres after pre- paying the Application Fee and VFS’ Service Charge at a designated branch of HDFC Bank. 


Important: We recommend that you check the appointment availability before making travel arrangements or paying the visa application and service fees.


Application Fee (MRV Fee) and Service Charge

Prior to confirming a visa interview appointment online or at any US Visa Application Centre, you need to pay the following fees and obtain a Visa Fee Receipt from HDFC Bank.


When going to HDFC Bank, please carry with you a photocopy of the 1 st page of the applicant 's passport.


The fees payable at HDFC Bank per passport are: -


1.Visa Application Fee (MRV Fee): $100 in Indian Rupee equivalent at consular rate of exchange. Rupee amount at current rate of exchange (Rs. 46) is Rs 4,600/-


This fee is payable in cash or by DD/HDFC Bank cheque favouring “US Embassy - Visa Fees”. DDs issued by cooperative banks are not accepted.


VFS’ Service Charge: Rs 276/- (inclusive of Service Tax @ 10% and Education Cess Tax @ 0.2%)


This fee is payable in cash or by DD/HDFC Bank cheque favouring “HDFC Bank a/c VFS”. DDs issued by cooperative banks are not accepted.


IMPORTANT: The fee receipt gets activated 2 working days from date of issue. Do not attempt to take an appointment till then.


The above fees are not refundable. HDFC Bank’s fee receipt can be used to make an appointment within 1 year from date of issue. The receipt is deemed as utilized once the interview has taken place, and cannot be used to make a subsequent appointment.


Visa Issuance Fee:

This fee is payable by most categories of visa applicants at the visa section, after the Consular Officer has confirmed issue of visa.


Payment option: Only by demand drafts favouring the “US Embassy, New Delhi” or “American Consulate General, Mumbai (or Chennai or Kolkata)” as applicable, and drawn on the city where the interview is being held. DDs issued by cooperative banks are not acceptable.







Nanik Motwani


Mumbai -400023

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Shop no 10 ,Tirupati Apartments

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Purchase a Visa Fee Receipt number from HDFC Bank, and then apply online at this website OR across the counter at any US Visa Application Centre in India.


Please Note: If you are an Indian citizen resident in the US, to obtain a Visa Fee Receipt from HDFC Bank, please fax a copy of your passport’s data page to the person in India assisting you. That person will have to submit the fax to HDFC Bank in order to get a fee receipt issued.


Fees payable prior to confirming a visa interview appointment:


1. Non-refundable Application Fee (MRV Fee): US$ 100 payable in INR at consular rate of exchange. MRV Fee   at current exchange rate is Rs. 4,600


2. Non-refundable VFS' Service Charge: Rs. 276 (Inclusive of Service Tax @ 10% and Education Cess @ 0.2%).


3. The Visa Fee Receipt must be used to schedule an appointment within one year from date of issue.


Specifications of Photograph to be affixed on Visa form DS-156

1. The photograph for each visa applicant must be an unmounted, full face photo, as described above.


2. The photograph must have been taken within the last six months.


3. One photograph must be submitted stapled or glued to the application DS-156.


4. The photo for each visa applicant submitted must measure:


o 2 by 2 inches (roughly 50 mm square) with the head centered in the frame.


o The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm) with the eye level between 1 1/8 inch to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo.


2. The photograph must be a full-face front view in which the visa applicant is facing the camera directly.


3. The applicant's head, measured from the bottom of the chin to the top of the hair, should be between 1 inch and 1-3/8 inches. The head should be centered in the photo. The head of the person being photographed should not be tilted up, down or to the side.


4. The face should cover about 50 percent of the photo area.


5. The photograph may be in color or black and white, but must have only a white or off-white background. Photos with dark, busy or patterned backgrounds will not be accepted.


6. In general, the applicant's head, including both face and hair, should be shown from the crown of the head to the tip of the chin on top and bottom and from hairline side-to- side. It is preferable that ears be exposed.


7. The photo should show a clear, front view, full face of the applicant. The applicant should be in normal street attire, without hat or dark glasses against a plain white or off-white background. The applicant should have a natural expression, mouth closed, and eyes open and looking directly ahead. Photos in which the face of the person being photographed is not in focus will not be accepted.


8. Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not cover any portion of the applicant's face.


9. Eyeglasses worn on a daily basis can be worn for the photo. However, there should be no reflections from the eyeglasses that obscure the eyes.


10. Sunglasses or other wear, which detracts from the face, are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (an eye patch, for example). A medical certificate may be required.


11. A photograph depicting a person wearing a traditional facemask or veil that does not permit adequate identification is not acceptable.


12. Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable. Photographs of applicants wearing tribal, national costume, or other headgear not specifically religious in nature are not acceptable.


13. For a minor child, only the child must be the subject in the photo. Nothing used to support the minor child, whether by mechanical or human means, should be in the camera's frame.


14. Only original photographs are acceptable. Copied or digitally scanned photos of photos will not be accepted. In addition, photos must not be retouched to alter the customer's appearance in any way.


18. Group photos are NOT accepted for a party applying for a visa together. Since a separate visa is issued to each qualified applicant, in an individual photo is required in all cases.


19. Staple or glue one photograph to the DS-156 in the designated space. If the photograph is stapled, staples should be placed as far away as possible from the applicant's face.


Please follow these instructions carefully. If photographs presented do not meet these requirements your application will be considered incomplete.


Karan Gupta is the leading international education and career consultant in Mumbai, India. Since 1999, he has given career counselling and has helped thousands of students with study abroad and get admission and visas to universities and colleges in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and EU and also helps them get scholarships, loans and financial aid. In addition to aptitude tests and career counselling, his firm also provides training and coaching for the GMAT, GRE, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE exams. Karan Gupta is the best study abroad career counsellor, consultant and career guidance expert in Mumbai.


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