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    OFC Appointment for USA Visa: Step-by-Step Process, Documents Required, Centers

    Mar 05,2024

    If you are gearing up for your journey to study in USA, navigating through the visa application process is likely one of your top priorities. Among the crucial steps involved in this process is the OFC appointment, which plays a significant role in expediting your visa application.

    The US Embassy established the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to speed up the visa process. Held at VACs (Visa Application Centers) across various locations, the OFC appointment precedes your meeting with a US consular officer. 

    Understanding the ins and outs of the OFC appointment process is essential for applicants aiming to study in USA, making their visa application journey smoother. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about the OFC appointment for a US visa, ensuring you’re well-prepared for this crucial step. 

    So read on carefully to navigate through the visa application process with confidence. 

    What is OFC Full Form?

    The full form of OFC stands for Offsite Facilitation Center in the visa process. You will be required to provide your biometrics, including photographs, at the OFC before your appointment at the Visa Application Center (VAC) for your USA student visa interview. This is what OFC stands for in the visa process.

    What is an OFC Appointment for a US Visa?

    The OFC appointment was created to speed up the visa application process by the US embassy. At the OFC center, applicants are required to provide their biometric details, including fingerprints and photographs, along with the necessary official documents. These appointments take place at VACs (Visa Application Centers) before you meet with the US consular officer or embassy.

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    Is an Appointment Required for an OFC appointment?

    An appointment is required for the OFC appointment as part of the USA student visa application process. It’s a necessary step conducted before the visa interview. It marks the beginning of the visa process that applicants must complete before traveling to the country.

    Applicants should remember that they need to come prepared with the required OFC appointment documents. A variety of documents must be compiled and submitted on the day of the appointment. We’ve listed these documents in the following information for verification.

    Documents Required for US Visa OFC Appointment

    When you visit the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) for your US visa appointment, remember to bring the specific documents required for the OFC appointment.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Original passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond your US stay).
    • Carry a copy of your OFC confirmation letter and DS – 160 confirmation page, which are essential to entering the OFC center.
    • Bring one recent passport-size photo (meeting US requirements).

    Double-check the requirements on the US Embassy/Consulate website in your country. Also, it would be a good idea to arrive early for your appointment.

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    How to Schedule an OFC Appointment for a US Visa?

    Scheduling an appointment at the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) is a crucial step in your US visa application process. Here’s a simplified guide to help you navigate the booking process:

    • Visit the official website, https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ and create an account. 
    • Complete the DS-160 form and pay the visa fee.
    • Schedule an appointment for the OFC (fingerprints & photo) and visa interview appointments at once.
    • Choose the date and time from the available slots that work best for you.

    What Should One Expect at an OFC Appointment?

    During your OFC appointment, you can expect a straightforward process. Upon arriving, you’ll undergo a security check before entering. Inside, the staff will assist you throughout the process.

    As part of the visa application process, you’ll need to submit the necessary OFC appointment documents. 

    Don’t worry; you’ll be asked to provide your documents, including your passport, OFC appointment confirmation copy, and DS-160 confirmation, to get stamped. 

    You will be required to complete the biometric (fingerprint) process and have your visa photograph taken. Following that, you’ll have the chance to review the captured information and ensure its accuracy.

    Also Read: Pre-Arrival Guide for International Students to Study in USA

    What happens after an OFC appointment?

    Once you complete the process involved in the OFC appointment, you have to visit the US consulate office for your student visa interview on the day you have been given an OFC and consular appointment. After this, you will have to visit the OFC center once again to collect your passport in case your visa is confirmed. 

    OFC Appointment Centers in India

    Multiple centers across India cater to OFC appointments for US student visa applications. These centers provide convenient locations for scheduling biometric appointments. Here’s a list of OFC appointment centers in India:

    CityAddress
    New DelhiS – 1 American Plaza, (Hotel Eros, Managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019
    MumbaiTrade Center, Ground Floor, G Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
    HyderabadPaigah Palace, Basheerbagh, Hyderabad 500004
    ChennaiGood Shepherd, No 82, Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600034
    KolkataJasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor), Kolkata 700017

    Fees for an OFC Appointment

    Attending an OFC appointment does not incur a separate fee. The cost of biometrics, collected during this appointment, is usually bundled into the overall visa application fee. So, there’s no need for you to pay any supplementary charges, particularly for your OFC appointment. However, it’s essential to remember that the visa application fee can fluctuate depending on the type of visa you are applying for and your nationality.

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    Important Things to Consider Prior Your OFC Appointment for a US Visa 

    Before attending your OFC appointment for US visa, it’s essential to keep a few key points in mind to ensure a smooth and successful process. Here are some important reminders:

    1. Your OFC appointment precedes the visa interview, so ensure it aligns with your interview schedule.
    2. During the OFC appointment, you’ll submit the required documents and complete the biometric process before your visa interview.
    3. Prepare all necessary documents, including your passport, appointment confirmation, DS-160 confirmation page, and visa fee payment receipt.
    4. Some individuals may qualify for a visa interview waiver and won’t need to attend the OFC appointment.
    5. Candidates eligible for the Drop Box program will receive notification once their visa application is processed.
    6. Remember, the visa interview doesn’t occur at the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC); it happens at your local US embassy.
    7. If you require assistance before your OFC appointment, staff fluent in your local language are available.
    8. Ensure you have all the required documents for the OFC appointment to avoid rescheduling and delays in the visa process.
    9. Leave personal items like your mobile phone and bag at home, as strict security measures are enforced at the OFC.
    10. US embassy officials aren’t present at the OFC; third-party organizations manage it.

    EndNote,

    With this comprehensive guide, you are now all set to navigate the OFC appointment successfully and begin your educational journey to study in USA. Before proceeding further, if you still need a deeper understanding or have any questions about the same, we encourage you to speak with our expert team at Aspire Square. We are here to support you every step of the way. Good Luck!

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      FAQs

      01 Is there a difference between an OFC and a VAC appointment?

      The VAC and OFC appointments serve distinct purposes. OFC (Offsite Facilitation Center) appointments are for collecting biometric data, including fingerprints and photographs. On the other hand, VAC (Visa Application Center) appointments are for submitting visa applications and supporting documents.

      02 When should I schedule an OFC appointment for a US visa?

      The OFC appointment for the US study visa is essential because it precedes the visa interview. Completing the OFC appointment is a prerequisite before attending your visa interview. During the appointment, you will submit the required documents, provide biometrics, and have your photographs taken.

      03 How big a gap should there be between OFC and visa appointments?

      There is no specific time frame between OFC and visa appointments. It’s essential to allow yourself some time in between appointments to ensure you have enough time to prepare for the interview and present yourself confidently. For specific guidance on the recommended time frame between appointments, it’s always best to consult the official website of the US embassy or consulate in your country.

      04 OFC and biometrics are the same thing?

      The Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) is specifically designated for collecting biometric data. When you attend an OFC appointment for US visa, you will provide your fingerprints and photographs, which are essential components in speeding up the study in USA visa application process.

      05 What documents are required for a US visa of appointment?

      Visiting the Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) is a crucial step in your USA study visa application process. Here’s the document required for an OFC appointment:

      • Your current passport, along with any old passports you may have.
      • A printed copy of your visa interview appointment confirmation.
      • The printed payment receipt for your visa application fee.
      • A printed copy of your DS-160 confirmation page. This will have a barcode called the CEAC barcode.
      • One recent passport-sized photograph that meets US visa specifications.

      Make sure all documents are clear, complete, and valid to avoid any delays or issues during your OFC appointment for US visa.

      06 Can we modify our visa interview date after OFC?

      Yes, it’s possible to change your visa interview date after completing the OFC appointment. You’re allowed a maximum of two reschedules for your convenience. To request a rescheduling, you can either use the online portal or reach out to the consulate directly. Make sure to follow the guidelines and procedures provided by the US Embassy for a smooth process.

      07 Can I cancel my OFC appointment for US visa?

      Yes! You can cancel your OFC appointment for US visa, but only once, without penalty. A second cancellation may require re-paying the visa application fee, which covers the OFC service. Always check the specific cancellation policy with your local US Embassy or Consulate.

      08 Is there a fee for the OFC appointment?

      No, there is no separate fee for the OFC appointment. The fee you pay for the US visa application already encompasses the cost of biometric services provided at the OFC. This means you’ve already covered the cost of the OFC appointment when you paid the visa application fee.

      Written By

      Dalia Avasthi

      Dalia Avasthi is the Student Visa Head in Aspire Square and has an expertise in counseling, mentoring, and processing within the Student Department. Her specialization lies in her knowledge of countries like Canada, Australia, UK, USA, and New Zealand. With more than 10 years of experience within the industry. She is a trusted and valuable asset of Aspire Square.

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