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OFC Appointment for US Visa: Importance, Documents, Centers

Updated on 05 June, 2024

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

The OFC (Offsite Facilitation Center) appointment is an integral part of the US visa application process, which captures important information like biometrics.
Applicants must complete the OFC appointment before proceeding to the consulate visa interview.

This article talks about what an OFC appointment is, its significance, the scheduling process, and the requirements. Let’s take a look in detail.

Important Links : Student Visa | Student Visa for USA

What is OFC Appointment for US Visa 

The OFC appointment for a US visa is a vital part of the proceedings. Applicants are required to give their biometric details, including photographs and fingerprints. OFC appointment speeds up the visa process and is conducted before the US visa interview.

What is Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC)

OFCs were set up to fast-track the processing of visa applications. These are the centers where you have to submit Your visa photographs and fingerprints while showing all required official documents. These appointments are held at VACs (Visa Application Centers) before your interview with the US consular officer.

Resources for USA Visa

Documents Required for OFC Appointment for US Visa

Here are the documents you should bring with you when going for biometrics for a US Visa in India: 

  • Your current and old passport
  • Appointment letter copy 
  • DS-160 confirmation page 
  • One photograph taken within the last six months 

When making a US OFC appointment for visa biometrics, make sure that your hands do not have any cuts, mehendi, or abrasions. Any kind of marks or decorations will prevent the biometric machine from capturing your fingerprints.

USA Free Course

The USA hosts the largest number of international students from across the world. Over the past few years, it has become one of the most popular destinations for studying abroad. Reasons such as best-ranked institutions, excellent support facilities, flexible academic environment, and cultural diversity contribute to making it the most preferred destination amongst students planning to study abroad.

How to Book an OFC Appointment for a US Visa? 

You will have to book an appointment to visit the OFC center. Your DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application) confirmation page is stamped after you have provided your biometric details and photographs.

You must show your stamped form and passport at the time of the interview at the consulate. You will need your passport number, the ten-digit barcode number on the DS-160 confirmation page, and the visa application fee receipt for the appointment. 

You can schedule the OFC appointment when booking the visa interview. You can visit the website: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/, and choose the New Application/Schedule Appointment option to book your appointment.

The OFC interview takes place before your visa interview. The latter will not be held at the OFC facility but at the local embassy with the consular officer. Hence, you must align both appointments accordingly. 

Remember, you cannot take anything apart from your documents for the OFC appointment, including your mobile phone.

What to Expect During An OFC Appointment?

During your OFC appointment, you will be required to complete the biometric (or fingerprint) process and get your visa photo taken. Keep all your documents ready and neatly arranged for a smooth OFC for US visa.

What Happens After an OFC Appointment? 

After the OFC appointment, you will attend the visa interview with the US consular at the local US embassy. After the visa appointment is conducted, you need to return to the OFC center to collect your passport after furnishing the printed copy of your visa application. 

For visa interview waivers, you do not need to get your fingerprints taken. Rather, you can submit the required documents at the “Drop Box” facility. Visa applicants who qualify for the visa interview waiver are the following:

  • Individuals below the age of 14
  • Applicants who have applied for visa renewal under the same category
  • Applicants whose visas fall under the following categories: A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, C-3, and NATO. 

Those who are unsure if they fall under a visa interview waiver should connect with the local US embassy.

OFC Appointment Fee

The OFC appointment itself does not incur any separate costs. Applicants are solely required to cover the visa application fees, encompassing the cost of biometric services.

OFC Appointment Centers in India

The VACs are located in different cities in India. Here is more information on some of the locations of VACs for your convenience:

Name of the StateName of the CityAddress Details*
MAHARASHTRAMumbai

U.S. Consulate General

C-49, G Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex,

Bandra East, Mumbai – 400051

WEST BENGALKolkata

U.S. Consulate General

5/1, Ho Chi Minh Sarani

Kolkata – 700071

TAMIL NADUChennai

U.S. Consulate General

200 Anna Salai at Gemini Circle

Chennai – 600006 

NEW DELHINew Delhi

U.S. Embassy

Shantipath

Chanakyapuri

New Delhi – 110021

ANDHRA PRADESHHyderabad

U.S. Consulate General 

Survey No. 115/1

Financial District, Nanakramguda

Hyderabad, Telangana, 500032

*Source: Official website

How to Reschedule OFC Appointment for US Visa

If you have already made your interview appointment and wish to reschedule, you can log in to your account and choose the Reschedule Visa Appointment option.
You must remember that the closing timeline is 48 hours for appointments. If you cannot attend on the selected date, make sure that you reschedule or cancel the appointment at least three working days before the same. Or else you will have to wait till the passing of the appointment date before you schedule a fresh one.

Tips for OFC Appointment for US Visa 

If you want to have a smooth and quick US application process, you should be well prepared for the OFC US visa appointment. In this section, we take a look at some of the best tips you can follow for an OFC appointment for a US visa. 

  • Make sure to double-check appointment details, including the time, date, and location of your OFC appointment.
  • Before starting your journey, cross-check that you have all the required documents mentioned above, along with the latest photographs.
  • Make sure to arrive at least 20 to 30 minutes before the chosen US consulate OFC appointment time. This will give you enough time to go through the security checks and registration. 
  • Dress in business casual or formal attire. Avoid wearing light gray or white clothes because they can interfere with the photo background and biometrics equipment.
  • It is best not to use any electronic devices inside the office. So, turn off your mobile phones and other electronic devices. 
  • Before going inside for the appointment, listen carefully to the staff’s instructions and make sure to abide by them.
  • It is recommended you remain calm throughout the OFC appointment in the US visa embassy and answer the questions asked by the visa officers patiently.

Conclusion

In conclusion, securing an OFC (Offsite Facilitation Center) appointment is a pivotal step in the USA visa application process, serving as the preliminary stage where biometric information is collected. 

This guide underscores the importance of timely and accurate completion of this requirement, which streamlines the visa application by ensuring all necessary data is available prior to the consular interview. By understanding the process, preparing the required documents, and following the protocols for the OFC appointment, applicants can navigate this phase with confidence. 

The efficiency and organization of the OFC appointment reflect the United States' commitment to a secure, yet welcoming, visa process, facilitating international travel for business, study, and tourism. 

As such, prospective visitors to the USA should view the OFC appointment as an essential, well-structured step towards achieving their travel objectives, armed with the knowledge and preparation to ensure a smooth journey through the visa application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a fee for the OFC appointment?

There is no separate fee for the OFC appointment. The visa application cost includes the biometric fees for a US visa.

Do I need to schedule an OFC appointment separately from my visa interview?

You must schedule your OFC appointment simultaneously with the visa interview. Though the appointments for both can be booked at different locations, one must keep in mind that they will have to collect back their passport/documents from the OFC once they are done with their interview.
Remember, the biometrics for a US visa in India are taken before your consulate visa interview. Hence, you cannot book the OFC and visa interview appointment on the same day.

What does OFC mean in visa appointments?

The full form of OFC is the Offsite Facilitation Center. It is a separate facility where you need to go to complete biometric data collection (such as fingerprints) and visa photographs.

What is the difference between a VAC appointment and an OFC appointment?

VAC stands for Visa Application Center, while OFC stands for Offsite Facilitation Center. An OFC appointment focuses only on collecting biometric data. On the other hand, VAC appointments offer numerous visa services, such as document submission, application fees, and more.

When should I schedule my OFC appointment?

You can book your OFC appointment for the US visa after completing your DS-160 form. Remember, you must align the OFC appointment with your visa interview appointment. 
You can visit the U.S. Travel Docs website to schedule your OFC appointment. If you fail to schedule and complete your US OFC appointment, your consulate visa interview will be canceled.

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

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