The United States is one developed country that receives thousands of applications every year. To manage the efficiency of the visa granting process, the authorities have taken several steps to eliminate any excessive waiting time to give the visa.
One such step was to form the Offsite Facilitation Center. Previously the candidate was required to submit the biometrics and the photographs at the time of the interview but few steps were taken to facilitate the visa application process and under that OFC was created in India.
The OFC appointments are set up by the US Embassy, which enables the candidate to submit their fingerprints and photographs in the center established in India’s country of origin.The candidate needs to make an application at Offsite Facilitation Center before their US Visa interview to complete the visa process as soon as possible.
What is the Offsite Facilitation Center?
The US Embassy in most countries has formed a center to ease the US visa application process. The OFC is a center established in India. The candidate who wants a US study visa will have to submit his photograph and his fingerprints before further processing for the US Visa interview.
After the mentioned procedure has been fulfilled, the confirmation page which is DS-160 is stamped.
The Candidate is required to submit the stamped page which is DS-160 it is provided by the OFC along with other documents at the time of the interview.
What is an Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) Appointment?
US Embassy has established an offsite facilitation centre to expedite the visa application procedure.
To attend the Offsite Facilitation Center, one must make an OFC appointment. Aside from that, you will require a set of documents to attend the OFC. Make sure to arrange your OFC appointment before your visa interview date.
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How to book an OFC appointment for a US visa?
The candidate can book his OFC appointment to within minutes, the website has been provided to schedule an appointment for the submission of biometrics at the OFC. The scheduled interview can even be rescheduled if due for any reason you were not able to attend the scheduled appointment at the OFC.
You have to visit the OFC on the appointed day along with the documents such as your passport, expired passport if any, and your application confirmation page, after visiting the OFC you need your turn to be called for the biometrics and to get your photograph clicked. After that, the candidate is just required to have a stamped confirmation page while sitting for the interview.
The confirmation page is stamped after you have provided your visa photograph and your fingerprints that is your biometrics.
Documents required to book the OFC appointment?
After successfully scheduling an appointment at the OFC, you will have to visit the OFC on the allotted day for the submission of your photograph and your biometrics, you will have to be personally present during the whole procedure as the option to attend the same through online mode has not been provided yet. Also at the time of the appointment, you will have to carry certain documents in physical form.
Following are the documents you need to carry along with you :
- Original Passport- You are required to carry your original passport along with you and your expired passport, if any. Make sure you carry your original documents with you, your confirmation page that is DS-160 will not be stamped if you fail to carry your passport with you. Generally, your passport is returned after the interview process is completed and you will be required to collect your passport from the Embassy.
- Appointment confirmation page – When you visit the OFC, you must carry the physical copy of the application confirmation page to get it stamped, as you will be required to submit the stamped confirmation page at the time of the interview.
- DS-160 Confirmation Page – Once you have completed all the procedures successfully at the OFC, which is the submission of your photograph, your biometrics is your signature your application confirmation page is stamped which is called DS-160. You are required to submit the stamped form at the time of the interview.
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OFC Appointment Fee
The candidate must pay just one fee for the visa application, which includes the fees for the appointment at the OFC for stamping your confirmation page. There is no additional fee apart from that which needs to be paid. You are required to pay the fee in India itself. It includes the fees for the US visa application and the OFC application for the verification of the biometrics that is your signature and the photograph for the visa.
This has been done to reduce any further complications and to ease up the visa application process.
OFC Appointment: Fingerprints and Photo Process
In order to get a US study visa, you are required to schedule an OFC appointment to submit your biometrics and your photograph there, OFC is set up in several cities in India, you can even reschedule the appointment if needed.
The OFC appointment is scheduled before the Visa interview takes place and you are supposed to take the mentioned documents along with you.
After the confirmation by the authorities, your confirmation page is stamped which is an essential document required at the time of the interview.
Your visa application will be approved and you can collect your passport after that if you submit all the essential documents in association with the requirement of the authorities.
In order to get your visa approved you shall follow the following steps at the OFC:
- First of all, you need to book an appointment at the OFC through their website, several OFCs have been set up across the country to facilitate the process.
- A rescheduling option is also given but try to be present during the first appointment only.
- Then you will be required to carry along with you all the documents in the physical format like the confirmation page, the passport, and any expired passport as well. The interview is not held at the OFC it is just a prerequisite before the actual interview to ease up the US visa process.
- Then the next step is after reaching the OFC you need to wait patiently till your turn.
- The next step is, that your biometrics will be scanned once your turn comes up.
- Then your photograph for your US visa application will be clicked.
- You are certainly not required to carry your visa photographs there.
- The Visa interview takes place at the US consulate at the scheduled time.
- You are required to carry the confirmation application page along with you to get it stamped.
- You will have to carry the DS-160 stamped page at the time of the interview.
- After the visa interview, if your application is approved you need to visit there to collect your passport.
- Your passport will be delivered to you if you choose to pay for the premium delivery option.
How to reschedule OFC appointment for US visa?
You can easily reschedule your OFC appointment if you have already made the appointment before you can log in to your account provided by the authorities and can easily reschedule your appointment.
But the deadline to apply should be kept in mind as the reschedule timing is 3 working days before the appointment time.
A deadline of 48 hours is given to attend the appointment the first time, If you miss the allotted time then you will have to wait before rescheduling the same.
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Are There any Offsite Facilitation centers in India?
The US Embassy has set up the OFC to provide all the facilities possible to the applicants relating to the US visa application.
Several OFCs are set up all across the country in the most populated cities.
Here are the cities in which the OFC have been setup:
- In Maharashtra, the OFC has been set up in Mumbai.
- In West Bengal, the OFC is in Kolkata.
- For Tamil Nadu, the Offsite Facilitation Center is in Chennai.
- One center is also set up in the country’s national capital that is in New Delhi.
- For Andra Pradesh, the OFC has been set up in Hyderabad.
Ans: Yes the OFC appointment is entirely different from the visa interview as OFC appointment is merely a prerequisite for US visa you need to register your biometrics that is your signature and your photograph in Offsite Facilitation Center and then you can get the stamped confirmation page which needs to be submitted during the visa interview.
Ans: The VAC or OFC appointment is an appointment to submit your photograph and signature before the visa application interview it has been set up to facilitate the visa application procedure by the US Embassy.
Ans: After the requirements of the OFC have been fulfilled, the next step for the US visa is an interview taken by the Embassy, which also requires the mentioned documents to be submitted before the interview.
Ans: Yes, you can reschedule the offsite facilitation center appointment the first appointment should be attended within 48 hours of the allotted time or else it can be rescheduled within 3 working days.