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New Process for U.S. Visa Applications

New Process for U.S. Visa Applications

As part of the U.S. Mission in China’s efforts to streamline the visa application process, the Embassy and all Consulates that issue visas are implementing a new visa appointment, fee payment and document delivery system starting on March 16, 2013.  This system, already in use in several countries, will make it easier for applicants to schedule their visa interview appointments, pay visa processing fees, and check on the status of their issued visas.

Beginning March 16, applicants will only pay the existing, unchanged, visa processing fee of $160 for most nonimmigrant visa types.  Previously, in addition to the processing fee, applicants faced additional costs for scheduling appointments and arranging for the return of their passports. Applicants will have the option to pay online using any debit card issued in China.  Applicants will also be able to pay with a Union Pay ATM card at any CITIC automatic teller machine, or in cash at any CITIC Bank branch.   

Applicants will also be able to use a new online system to make visa interview appointments and to check on the status of their applications.  They will be able to call the new Call Center to make an appointment or have their questions answered at no extra charge.  The new system allows applicants to pick up their passports at any one of more than 800 CITIC Bank branches across China.  Under the new appointment process, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates will continue to offer a drop-off nonimmigrant visa renewal service for most applicants who are eligible to renew their visas without a personal interview. 

The United States is committed to meeting the growing demand for visas to the United States.  In 2012, the U.S. Mission in China processed more than 1.34 million nonimmigrant visa applications, representing a growth rate of 34% over 2011.  Nonetheless, wait times for interview appointments have averaged just five days for the past year.  Our new appointment, fee payment and passport return system is just part of our effort to continually improve service to the Chinese traveling public.