When applying for a US visa, you are required to have fingerprints taken as well as a digital photograph as part of the process.
Process and Documents Required for US Visa Biometrics at Visa Application Center (VAC)
Prior to your interview at the Consulate or Embassy, you are required to provide your Biometrics information which includes fingerprints and a digital photograph at a Visa Application Center (VAC). Visa Application Centers are also known as Offsite Facilitation Centers (OFC).
This program is also known as the “BioVisa” (Biometric Visa) program. No additional fee will be charged for this appointment as it is already included in the application fee. You can schedule a VAC appointment at any center, but applicants usually prefer to have both the VAC and personal interview appointment in the same city.
Making an Appointment
- You can make an appointment online through the US Travels Docs website.
- Callers in India: +91 120 6602222 or +91 22 67209400
- Callers in the United States: 1-310-616-5424
When scheduling, remember that you cannot have both appointments with the VAC and the consulate on the same day. A minimum one-day gap is required between the two appointments. You are asked to arrive 15 minutes early to the appointment; no earlier than that.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Ink-free digital imprints of all your ten fingers will be taken at the US Visa fingerprinting appointment. First, a digital scan of the four fingers from your left hand and then the four fingers from your right hand will be taken. Finally, a digital scan of the two thumbs will be taken. Injury or cuts on your finger do not qualify you for a fingerprinting waiver. You might be asked to take another appointment after the finger is healed.
Without all the ten digital imprints, your application will be deemed incomplete. These fingerprints are taken for a valid reason. When you arrive at the port of entry in US, you will again give your fingerprints. These fingerprints are compared to your fingerprints taken back at the Visa Application Center to determine the genuineness of your identity.
In addition to the fingerprints, the officer will take a digital photo of your face for their records. Children under 7 are required to bring a hard copy, not a digital copy of their photograph. In addition to the photograph in the DS-160 Form, this photograph is taken as a proof that you were present in person for the VAC appointment. At your interview at the consulate, the consular officer will refer to this photograph.
Waivers and Exemptions
Children under 14 and adults over the age of 79 are not required to provide fingerprinting. The consulate has specific rules and regulations to waive fingerprinting requirement for applicants with specific cases like permanent abnormality on the fingers, burnt fingers, scarred fingers, permanent handicap like one hand, etc. To learn more about such specific cases, please refer to the USCIS website.
If you qualify for the interview waiver program, and are renewing your visa under the same category, you can forego this appointment.
Additionally, A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, C-3, and NATO applicants are exempt from the fingerprint scan requirement. However, if the purpose of the diplomats’ visit is tourism or pleasure, then he or she is not exempted from the biometrics/fingerprinting appointment.
Information Required for Scheduling an Appointment:
To make an appointment you will need:
- Your passport number
- The US visa application fee receipt
- The ten-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
Documents Required for the Appointment:
- Your passport that has an expiration date of at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay
- Your DS-160 confirmation page
- Your appointment confirmation page
- Visa application fee receipt
- If the applicant is below 14 years of age, one photograph as per the US visa specification is required
Additional Documents Required:
- H, L, and other petition-based visa applicants may bring copies of the I-797, I-129 and other petition-related documents.
- F, M students must bring the SEVIS receipt and I-20.
- J exchange visitors must bring the SEVIS receipt and DS-2019.
- C1D applicants should have a copy of original CDC and offer letter.
- Science and technology applicants may require additional processing, so they can bring additional supporting documents to reduce the processing time.
Most applicants will have to visit an VAC only once for Fingerprinting. You have to follow the usual security measures at the VAC.
NoteThe DS-160 US Visa Application form will be stamped at the VAC. You must carry this document for your US Visa Interview Appointment.
According to Embassy guidelines, all persons that enter the VAC site are subject to a security inspection of the following:
- The use of cellphones and cameras are prohibited.
- All bags such as travel bags, flash drives, memory sticks, BlueTooth devices, backpacks, briefcases, suitcases, leather, cloth bags, and zip folders will be restricted by security.
- No food or drinks allowed.
After your appointment at the Visa Application Center (VAC) for fingerprinting and digital photograph, the final step in the visa process is the interview at the embassy or consulate.
Locations for Visa Application Centers
|ANDHRA PRADESH||Hyderabad||1-8-384/385, Gowra Grand, S.P. Road Begumpet, Secunderabad 500003|
|MAHARASHTRA||Mumbai||Trade Center, Gr. Floor, G Block, Bandrakurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai – 400051 Trade Center, Gr. Floor, G Block, Bandrakurla Complex|
|NEW DELHI||New Delhi||S-1 American Plaza, (Hotel Eros Managed by Hilton),|
International Trade Tower Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019
|TAMIL NADU||Chennai||Good shepherd, No 82, Kodambakkam High Road, Numgambakkam, Chennai 600034|
|WEST BENGAL||Kolkata||Jasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor) Kolkata 700017|