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Know All About the OFC Appointment and How To Schedule It?

Going abroad is a tedious task and there are various processes involved. One of the processes is visa application. However, the US visa process is incomplete with an OFC appointment. It is the initial process in which the candidate is required to provide the biometrics and photographs at the consulate. If you are an aspirant to travel abroad, then read the full blog to get answers to all your questions. Further, you will get information related to the OFC application meaning, all the required documents and tips for scheduling an appointment.     

 Let us now look at what is OFC appointment, further the documents required for the same. 

What is an OFC Appointment?

The US embassy introduced the OFC appointments to accelerate the process of visa applications. It is a crucial part of the intake procedure. The main purpose of the appointment is to get the candidates’ biometrics and photographs. Previously, fingerprints and photos were collected during the interview. However, the process is now divided into two applications. The first step is an appointment at OFC, and the next step after this process is the US visa interview. The OFC full form is the Offsite Facilitation Center, particularly for aspirants studying abroad.

Let us look at the documents required to appear for the appointment.

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What are the Documents Required for OFC Appointment?

You should carry these documents when you go through the biometric process. The documents required for OFC appointment b1/b2 are as follows:

  • Passport: Carry your current and old passport.
  • Appointment confirmation copy: Proof of confirmation for the appointment.
  • DS-160 confirmation copy: Stamped proof of the DS-160 visa application that you submitted online.

Remember, in addition to the above documents, you must also submit a passport-size photo and the fee receipt of your visa application. These are equally important for your application.

NOTE: When appearing for the biometrics process, refrain from getting any cuts on your hands and putting mehendi.

Now that you are thorough with the OFC appointment documents. Let us now see how to book an appointment.

How to Book an OFC Appointment for a US Visa?

Booking an OFC is a crucial part of the visa application process. However, following these few steps to schedule an appointment would ensure a smooth process. Let us now look at the process of scheduling an appointment at the Offsite Facilitation Center.

Process

To book an OFC appointment US visa, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Log on to the official website of the US embassy and register by filling in all the details.

Step 2: In the new application section, find the DS-160 form and fill it with accurate information.

Step 3: Now, the candidate will be required to pay the visa fees.

NOTE: There is no separate charge to book the OFC appointment US visa, as the cost for the same is included in the visa.

Step 4: The next step in the process is scheduling the two appointments with the embassy. One is for the biometrics, which is the OFC appointment and the other is the visa interview.

Step 5: On the day of your scheduled interviews, it's essential to bring all the necessary documents. However, remember not to bring any personal items or your mobile phone.

Now that you understand what the OFC appointment means and how to book it, let's explore the process of rescheduling it if the need arises.

Reschedule

Once the appointment is scheduled, if the candidate desires to reschedule it, he/she may do so. However, the window is open for 48 hours before the closing timeline. Moreover, if the selected date is not suitable for the applicant, then they must reschedule three working days prior. Failing to do so may result in the candidate have to wait until the scheduled date passes. Here are the steps to reschedule an appointment:

Step 1: Log on to the official website where you originally scheduled the appointment.

Step 2: Find the option “manage your visa appointments” and select rescheduling.

Step 3: Select a new date and time for the appointment according to the availability of slots.

Step 4: Finally, review and confirm the selected details.

Let us now look at what happens after the appointment.

What Happens After an OFC Appointment?

The next step after your OFC appointment is the visa interview with the US consular at the embassy. After the interview, the candidate is required to go back to the OFC to collect the passport and other documents. However, for those eligible for the US visa interview waiver, the process is even more convenient. They can simply drop the required documents in the drop box, saving them the hassle of another visit.

Listed below are the candidates eligible for the waiver:

  • Candidates below the age of 14 years
  • Individuals above the age of 80 years
  • Study abroad non-immigrant applicants
  • Applicants applying for visa renewal in the same category
  • The candidates that come under any of the following categories: A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, C-3, and NATO.

However, the candidates unable to figure out in which category they fall under must connect to the embassy.

Further, let’s see where the applicant schedule OFC appointment.

Where are OFC Appointment Centers Located in India?

There are five OFC appointment centres located all over India at the moment. The details of these centres are mentioned below.

Location Address
New Delhi S – 1 American Plaza, (Hotel Eros Managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019
Mumbai, Maharashtra Trade Center, Gr. Floor, G Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai – 400051 Trade Center, Gr. Floor, G Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex
Kolkata, West Bengal Jasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor) Kolkata 700017
Chennai, Tamil Nadu Good shepherd, No 82, Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 6000
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 1-8-384/385, Gowra Grand, S.P. Road Begumpet, Secunderabad 500003

Now, let us look at some tips for scheduling the OFC appointment.

Tips for Scheduling an OFC Appointment for US Visa

There are various things to keep in mind both while scheduling and on the day of the appointment. Mentioned below are some tips that will help you to carry out the process smoothly.

  • Proper Paperwork: Make sure that you have all the required documents. If the candidate fails to carry all the necessary files, then the visa process may be postponed or even cancelled. A printed copy of your confirmation letter, a copy of DS-160, and the Passport are a few essential documents for the appointment.
  • Scheduling Appointment: Check the OFC appointment availability and book accordingly. This ensures that your process will be completed without any delay. You will not be able to apply for your visa interview unless your biometrics and pictures are taken. Hence, it is advisable to plan and schedule the appointment.
  • Reach Early: It is essential to reach the centre early on the interview day. Since an OFC appointment is a crucial step in the visa process, it shouldn’t be delayed. However, there may be circumstances that you can prevent. For example, you may find traffic on the way. You must have a 20-25-minute buffer before your interview.

Keeping these few tips in mind will ensure a hassle-free process. Let us now see the difference between OFC and Consular appointment.

Difference Between OFC & Consular Appointment?

Are you wondering what is OFC and Consular appointment? The visa application is a vital process for your journey and both OFC and Consular appointments play an integral part. Moreover, these appointments serve different purposes. OFC focuses on the collection of biometrics, and Consular involves the visa interview. Listed below are some of the differences between the appointments.

OFC Appointment Consular Appointment
The main purpose of OFC appointments is to collect information such as biometric fingerprints. The main purpose of a consular appointment is to conduct the visa interview and determine eligibility.
This appointment does not take place at the embassy. This appointment takes place at the embassy where the visa is processed.
Required before the visa interview. Required at the time of the interview.
The duration of the appointment is less than that of a Consular Appointment. The duration is not fixed and may vary according to the complexity of the appointment.

Now that you are thorough with OFC vs Consular appointment. Let us conclude what we’ve discussed in the blog.

Summing up, the OFC full form is the Offsite Facilitation Center, which plays a vital role in the US visa application. If your goal is to study in USA then booking an OFC appointment with the visa interview is important. Moreover, the documents required for the interview are a passport, a copy of DS-160, and proof of confirmation. For more information, connect with Gradding.com; our experts will guide you through the entire process.

FAQ’s

Here are some frequently asked questions related to the OFC.

1) What does an OFC appointment mean?

An OFC full form for visa is the Offsite Facilitation Center. It is the first step when the candidate is applying for a US visa. Moreover, it is a process of getting the biometrics and photographs at the consulate.

2) What to expect during an OFC appointment?

The OFC appointment meaning is obtaining bio-metric fingerprints and photos from the candidates. The consulate will require you to submit all the documents for a hassle-free visa application.

3) What are the fees for the OFC application?

There are no separate charges for the OFC appointment. However, the visa application cost includes the fees for biometrics and photographs.

4) Can I cancel my OFC appointment?

Yes, you may cancel your OFC appointment once, but you will have to pay the visa fees again if you cancel it for the second time or beyond that. Further, you will be blocked for 120 days before you can book a new appointment.

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