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Indian missions in US to outsource visa processing

By Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington : With an ever growing number of Americans travelling to India on business or pleasure, the Indian embassy has contracted an American firm to outsource the visa collection and delivery processes at its five missions here from Oct 1.

The outsourcing contract to handle visa applications at the embassy here and the consulates general of India in Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco has been awarded to Travisa Outsourcing Inc.

The new system would offer “speedy and efficient” service to the growing volume of US residents travelling to India, Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen said Monday.

“Rapid transformation of India-US relations in recent years has been manifested in an unprecedented growth of business travellers, tourists and other US residents to India and the introduction of several non-stop and additional travel services between the two countries.

“With burgeoning cooperation in the economic, commercial, technological, educational, cultural and other fields and with increasing close bonds of the Indian American community with the country of origin, the demands for visa and other consular services continues to grow,” he said.

The outsourcing firm will charge a service fee of $13 per visa application and offer same day collection at its visa application centres and next day service for applications received by post. It would also run a 24/7 call centre manned by bilingual staff.

The consular wings of the missions will continue to offer services after office hours or on holidays for emergency travel on extreme compassionate grounds 365 days a year, the announcement said.