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 Poorvi Chothani - An attorney, licensed to practice law in India and in the State of New York, USA

This article provides general information about obtaining non-immigrant visa interview appointments, applying for the B, H-1B and L-1 visas and family based immigrant visas. It also provides information about certain services that are often required by U.S. nationals living in India.

Introduction
In the last fiscal year, US Consulates in India issued more than 350,000 non-immigrant visas. About one-third of a total of 122,981 intra-company transfer visas (L visas) issued by the US were issued in India for the same fiscal year. Of the total student visas issued this year 18,600 were issued to Indian students, and there are about 81,000 Indian students, presently studying in the US.

The US Embassy in India, which has a visa section, is located in New Delhi. There are three additional consular posts at Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai (Madras). The US Department of State (DOS) recently announced that it would open a new post at Hyderabad, which is the center of several Information Technology (IT) and IT Enabled Services (ITES) companies.

Dr. David C. Mulford is the current US Ambassador to India. Consul General Michael Owen currently heads the Consular Section in Mumbai (the Mumbai Post). The Acting Immigration Officer in Charge is Henry G. Eager and the Chief, Consular Section, is Mr. Joseph Pomper. The general telephone number at Mumbai is +91-(0)-22-2363-3611 and facsimile: +91-(0)-22-2363-0350. When contacting the Mumbai Post, as a general rule, it is best to e-mail the appropriate consular unit with any queries. Inquiries may be sent to MumbaiIV@state.gov for immigrant visa (IV) queries or MumbaiNIV@state.gov for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) queries. The Mumbai Post generally is very prompt in answering e-mails. Officers at the Mumbai Post have often asked that we fax supporting documents before we send them our queries. Additionally, when corresponding on IV cases, it is essential to include the Mumbai Post case number with each communication.

Due to space constraints and security reasons, only the visa applicant is allowed at any interview; attorneys, relatives or other interested parties are not allowed into the Mumbai Post. Since 9/11, the security measures in and around the Mumbai Post have increased. In exceptional cases, a relative who is a US Citizen may be permitted to accompany an IV applicant.

Most applicants prefer to conduct their visa interview in English. However, the Mumbai Post does provide interpreters for regional languages including Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi.

Non-Immigrant Visa Processing
Persons applying for non-immigrant visas at the Mumbai Post include visitors, students, participants in exchange programs, religious workers, temporary workers, persons with extraordinary abilities, performing artists, professional journalists and representatives of foreign governments. Applicants are required to apply at the consular office responsible for the consular district in which they live. The Mumbai Consular District includes the states of Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Daman & Diu, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli.

Non-Immigrant Visa Processing
Fingerprinting and Photographs
Subsequent to the US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program that requires applicants to provide biometric information, all posts in India have discontinued the drop box facility for submitting US visa applications. All posts in India collect fingerprint impressions and photographs from all visa applicants, except those traveling on official government business or those who are under age 14 or over age 79.

At the time of the visa interview, applicants are asked to electronically scan the index (second) finger of each hand. Applicants who are required to be fingerprinted, who have a cut or blister or other temporary skin injury on their index fingers may not be issued a visa until their finger heals, before they can be fingerprinted. The scanned fingerprint data collected at time of visa application will be compared with fingerprint scans at the US port of entry to prevent the use of US visas by imposters and by those wanted for more serious offenses.

Persons already in possession of valid US visas, acquired before the implementation of US-VISIT, may travel to the US on their current visas and are not required to reapply for new visas until their current ones expire. They will be fingerprinted at the border or port of arrival.

Booking an Appointment for the Visa Interview Fn 2
All nonimmigrant visa applicants are required to schedule an appointment with the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS), which is an organization retained by the US Consulate as the off-site interview scheduler. There are significant delays in obtaining visa interview appointments. However, all consular posts in India are working towards reducing appointment wait times.

Applicants can schedule appointments online on the VFS website or by visiting the VFS Center closest to the applicant. If the applicant needs personalized assistance, an appointment may be booked at any VFS Visa Application Center in Mumbai, Ahmedabad or Pune. They may book an appointment online at http://www.vfs-usa.co.in (the VFS Website).

Practice Tip:
It is advisable to apply very early for an appointment for the visa interview. The US Embassy, Mumbai’s website provides typical waiting periods for NIV visa appointments (as of June 28, 2006).

Visitors Visas: 157 days
Student/Exchange Visitors Visas: 18 days.
All Other Nonimmigrant Visa: 21 days. It is possible to get more information about approximate wait times at:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/tempvisitors_wait.php.

Application Fee
All applicants must pay a visa application fee at a designated branch of the HDFC bank. Prior to appointment online or in person at any VFS Application Center, it is necessary to pay the fees and obtain a visa fee receipt. The fee receipt is issued with a unique barcode number, which is required when booking an online interview. The bank requires each applicant to present a photocopy of the first page of the passport when paying the fees.

The Visa Application Fee (MRV Fee) is $100 to be paid in Indian Rupee equivalent at the current consular rate of exchange. The fees payable per passport are: -Rupee amount at current rate of exchange (INR 46) is INR 4,600/-. This fee may be paid in cash or by a Demand Draft or HDFC Bank check favoring the “American Consulate General, Mumbai - Visa Fees”. The VFS levies a Service Charge of INR 276/- (inclusive of Service Tax @ 10% and Education Cess Tax @ 0.2%). This fee is payable in cash or by demand draft or HDFC Bank check favoring “HDFC Bank a/c VFS.” The Applicant can proceed to make an appointment two working days after date of issue of fee receipt by HDFC Bank. It is important to note that the fee receipt gets activated 2 working days from date of issue and the applicant should not attempt to take an appointment till then. If an Indian citizen, resident abroad, wishes to obtain a visa fee receipt, he/she may fax a copy of the passport’s data page to a representative in India who can submit the fax, along with the fees, to the bank and obtain a fee receipt.

VFS application center counters accept visa applications, along with supporting documents, to be processed at the Mumbai Post at the following addresses:
Mumbai
Tirupati Apartments, Bhulabhai Desai Road,
Opp. Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai 400 026

Ahmedabad
Gujarat Chambers Building, Shri Ambika Mills
Ashram Road, Ahmedabad 380 009

Pune
106, Sohrab Hall, 1st Floor, Sassoon road
Behind Pune Station Junction, Pune 411 001

Inquiries regarding the scheduling of appointments with the VFS may be made by e-mail (info@vfs-usa.co.in) or by calling: +91-(0)-22 5654 7600. Calls from outside India should be directed to +91-(0)-44 4231 6767. VFS usually responds to e-mail queries, Monday through Friday, within two working days and attends phone calls between 0800-1600 hours from Monday through Friday excluding all Indian and US holidays

After booking an appointment the applicant should submit copies of the passport, one photograph, the appointment letter (generated online), original fee receipt (which contains two barcode stickers) obtained from the HDFC Bank, duly completed visa application forms and a signed copy of the checklist that is generated online, to the VFS Center. The photograph has to conform to the requirements stipulated by the US Government. It is important that these documents be submitted five working days before the appointment date. The applicant should then report to the Mumbai Post as per the details in the appointment Letter. The applicant should carry copies of the documents presented to the VFS Center and all supporting documents to help him/her prove ability to finance the visit to the US, non-immigrant intent and purpose of visit. Students should also submit the SEVIS Fee Receipt with the documents. Application forms without an original HDFC Bank Receipt or with an incorrect photograph are not accepted.

It is recommended that each applicant completes the visa application forms fully and accurately. Applicants should be forthcoming about their purpose and plans to visit the US; applicants should prepare for the interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe their intentions.

The VFS Center checks the documents, retains the visa application forms and returns the passport along with a photocopy of the applicant’s passport page with the VFS’ stamp. If the visa is granted, this photocopy has to be handed over to the courier service when they deliver the applicant’s passport.

If the applicant is granted a visa, his/her passport will be returned via courier.

Practice Tips:
Applicants should provide their current address and not the permanent address that is mentioned on their passport. It is also advisable to ensure that someone will be available at this address to receive the passport when it is sent after the visa is issued.

It should be noted that the courier will deliver the passport only if the photocopy of the passport with the VFS stamp is handed over.

It is important to ensure that the applicant is able to prove eligibility under section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Consular officers have indicated that attorney representation in this area is discouraged, because ‘non-immigrant intent’ required to refute 214(b) presumption, is the applicant’s intention and anyone other than the applicant cannot be expected to know his/her ‘true’ intent.

Emergency Appointments
All consular posts in India, including the Mumbai Post have set aside some appointment slots for emergency applications involving humanitarian or medical emergencies; students with valid Form I-20s; returning H or L visa applicants; and certain unforeseen business related needs. Weddings, graduation ceremonies and other foreseeable events are not considered emergencies. Applicants that wish to travel to the US on a fresh H or L visa are not eligible to apply for an emergency appointment unless they can prove unforeseen business related needs.

Practice Tip:
These emergency appointments may be booked at the VFS Website, but there is no fixed time of day when they become available. It is best to log on the VFS Website at different times of the day and check the availability of emergency appointments. On occasion it is possible to book immediate appointments without availing of the emergency appointment facility. This is possible when the Mumbai Post releases additional appointments that become available due to cancellations or because applicants have failed to submit documents five days before the visa appointment.

Caution:
Applicants should be very cautious when they book or request an emergency appointment. At the time of the interview, the applicant will have to provide documentary proof to show that he/she truly had an urgent need to travel to the US. If the officer finds that the applicant is ineligible for the special slots, his/her interview ill be scheduled for another interview after 90 days. In addition, the officer would make a notation about this on the applicant’s records.

Processing Time
The interviewing officer retains the passport for stamping after he/she has determined that a visa will be issued. The passport is, then, couriered to the applicant, and usually reaches the applicant within the next two working days. Some applications, however, may require additional processing that could delay visa issuance for an extended period of time. The applicant will be notified if there is any delay in his or her case and if the applicant requires any security or additional checks or tests. Individuals from India who apply for non-immigrant visas to work or study in any of the areas listed on the Technology Alert List (TAL) are subject to additional screening processes. The TAL is extensive and includes such areas as chemical and biotechnology, aerospace science, advanced computer and electronic technology. Certain individuals are subject to other checks, which may be triggered by some details in their record. These could include arrest records or Driving Under the Influence records, in the US. The Mumbai Post usually conducts additional checks within 30 days of the interview. However, some applicants face longer delays.

Practice Tip:
Visa officers indicate that only 1 to 2 percent of cases are either delayed or denied visas due to a TAL alert. Most TAL related checks are completed in 2 weeks and some take up to 4 weeks.

In addition, if the applicant anticipates that he/she may be subject to the additional checks should carry additional supporting documents to the interview. The documents should include a copy of the resume or curriculum vitae, copies of any published material, information about past or current research, information about their research supervisor or employer in the US with their contact information and a list of references.

To avoid additional delays, the applicant should be well prepared to answer specific questions about their research in the US

Caution:
Though suggested documents should be carried to the interview, the Consular Officer relies primarily on the personal interview to determine one’s eligibility for a visa.

Important things to remember when filling out application forms:
# Specific contact and address information in both India and the US. Applications with responses such as "any hotel" as the address in the US are likely to be rejected for additional information.
# All applicants are personally responsible and accountable for the answers on their application forms, regardless of who fills out the forms.
# When applying for tourist or business/visitor's visa the applicant should also carry any documents that might be helpful to establish financial ability to travel, business connections either in India or the US, and other social or economic ties which will serve to compel the applicant’s return to India after a limited visit.
# The applicant must respond fully to each question and provide as many useful details as possible. The applicant must sign the application, even if someone else completes it.
# The Mumbai Post requests that applicants refrain from using the term "not applicable" or "N/A". They recommend that the applicant use "none" or "never".

Issuance Fee
Indian applicants applying for a visa class for which an issuance fee is payable must carry a demand draft for the issuance fee with them to the interview. This fee is payable by most categories of visa applicants at the visa section. Indian nationals applying for the following visa classes are exempted from paying this fee: A, C1, C1/D, D, F, G, J, M, Blanket L1 and T. Broadly, ship crew, airline crew, students and exchange visitors are exempt from paying the issuance fee.

The applicant should write their name and passport number on the reverse of the demand draft. In case a visa is refused, the applicant will have to subsequently cancel the demand draft to reclaim the amount. If a visa is authorized, the issuance fee is to be paid immediately at the visa section, failing which the visa will not be issued.

Other nationals are required to pay the issuance fee based on reciprocity between the US and their country of nationality. Issuance fees can only be paid by demand drafts favoring the American Consulate General, Mumbai, and should be payable in Mumbai. The demand draft should be taken to the interview. The issuance fee amount is $50 (INR 2,300) payable in Indian Rupee equivalent at consular rate of exchange. Demand drafts issued by cooperative banks are not acceptable.

Visa Issuance
After the interview, if the applicant is found eligible to receive a visa the issuance fee will be retained and the visa applicant may leave the Mumbai Post’s premises. The passport, with the visa stamp will be couriered, within two working days, to the address provided by the applicant on Form DS-156.

If the Consular Officer finds the applicant to be ineligible for a visa, he/she will return the passport and the demand draft for the issuance fee. This demand draft may be used again if the applicant decides to reapply, provided the demand draft is still valid at the time of reapplication. In the alternative, the applicant may cancel the demand draft with the issuing bank.

H-1B and L-1 Applications
It is possible to schedule H-1B or L-1 interviews only after Form I-797, the Notice of Approval, has been issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. All H-1B applicants are requested to bring one extra set of photocopies of any original documents that they wish to submit to the consular officer. This is especially important when the applicant requires any original documents to be returned.

Documents in Support of H-1B/L-1 Applications
# Visa application forms.
# The 1-129 and all supporting documents.
# The Mumbai Post will not accept documents received directly from the company by mail or fax. All documents should be taken by the applicant to the interview, if necessary in sealed envelopes. The Mumbai Post ensures that it will protect the confidentiality of these documents and will destroy the documents after review.
# Letter from petitioning employer confirming employer's intent to hire the applicant.
# Original, plus one copy, of work experience letters from prior employers.
# Names and current phone numbers of the personnel managers at the applicant's present and past jobs.
# Photographs of the inside and outside of current or most recent employer's place of business in India (The officer may not ask for this if the petitioning employer is a well established and known entity).
# Photographs of the inside and outside of the company's offices, prospectus, brochures, and annual report of the US petitioning entity. (The officer may not ask for this if the petitioning employer is a well established and known entity).
# Names and contact information of two co-workers from current or most recent place of employment.
# Names and contact information of two co-workers from past jobs.
# The Mumbai Post requires applicants currently working in the US, on an H1B or L visa visa, to submit pay slips for the current calendar year and federal tax returns (IRS Form 1040 and W-2) for all years of employment in the US.
# L visa applicants must provide a letter from their employer stating how long they have been employed with the company.
Caution:

All H-1B and L-1 visa applicants should submit, to the VFS Center, the forms and the mandatory supporting documents, as per the Mumbai Post’s list, at least five working days before the interview. Any additional documents should be carried to the interview.

Practice Tips:
When preparing an applicant for an H-1B or L-1 visa interview it is advisable to prepare him/her for extraordinary questions. Clients have been asked to provide petitioner’s pay roll details, often going back for a period up to three years. Consular officers in some cases have asked the applicant to provide W-2 statements for all petitioners’ employees and/or petitioner’s contracts with third parties.

It is advisable but not mandatory that the NIV applicant be prepared to present a full copy of the USCIS petition and supporting documents along with the Notice of Approval, Form I-797 at the port of entry into the US.

Family Based Immigrant Visa Processing
The Mumbai Post ranks among the busiest posts for immigrant visa issuance including family based and employment based visas. Persons born in India are ineligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Program.

The Mumbai Post is responsible for immigrant visa cases for those applicants residing in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa; Daman and Diu (Union Territory), Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Union Territory), Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram (Union Territory), Nagaland, Orissa, Sikkim, Tripura, and West Bengal. The post in Kolkata (Calcutta) only processes IVs for adoption cases.

Family-based cases require that a petition be filed with and approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before any US Consulate can take action. Petitions approved by the Department of Homeland Security are generally forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for processing and are then sent to the US Embassy or Consulate where the applicant lives. Most of the immigrant visa petitions for Indian nationals are subject to numerical limitations and are assigned a priority date. Cases with priority dates are kept at the National Visa Center until the priority date is nearly current and only then are sent to the Embassy or Consulate.

Immigrant Visa Applications at the US Embassy, New Delhi
From July 4, 2004 till May 31, 2006 US citizens who wished to file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for their immediate relative could provide evidence that they have resided in India for a minimum of 60 days immediately prior to the filing of the petition. However, this facility ended on May 31, 2006. From June 1, 2006, US citizens who wish to file an I-130 for their immediate relatives must provide evidence that they are residents of India. Proof of such residency includes a US passport with an appropriate long-term, valid Indian visa and a Registration Report and Residential Permit issued by the Foreigners Registration Office (FRRO) of the government of India. Additional evidence may include, but is not limited to, proof of on-going employment in India, taxes paid in India, rent/property receipts, and utility receipts. These applications may be filed by US Citizens, in person, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 Noon on all normal business days. If the petition is being filed for a spouse, he/she is required to also appear. Immigration officials may ask the applicant and his/her spouse any questions necessary for the adjudication of the petition. Once the petition is approved it will be forwarded to the Mumbai Post or other applicable Post, and processed in the same way as approved petitions from the National Visa Center.

IV Visa Appointment
After an Embassy or Consulate has received an approved petition from the National Visa Center or the US Embassy in New Delhi, the applicant is notified and requested to fill out several forms and submit them to the Embassy or Consulate when the applicant is ready for an interview. As soon as an Embassy or Consulate is notified that an applicant is ready, then the applicant is scheduled for an appointment and notified of the appointment date by mail.

Applicants who are asked by a letter to submit relevant forms may do so from Monday through Friday between 8.15 am to 5.00 pm. Such letters are issued when their visa number becomes current. Applicants are then sent information about the visa appointment and should be advised to keep these appointments to avoid additional delays.

Fees
The cost of each immigrant visa application-processing fee (per person) is US $380 (payable in INR). Fees must be paid for each intending immigrant regardless of age, and are not refundable. Fees should be sent to the consular office only if they have not been paid to the National Visa Center or if the petition was approved by the US Embassy at New Delhi. It is necessary to carry proof of payment of fees to the interview. It is necessary to pay the VFS courier fees when submitting the documents at a VFS Center.

Medical Examination
Every IV applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination before he/she goes for the visa interview. The Mumbai Post has designated certain doctors and institutes to conduct the examination. Costs for such examinations must be borne by the applicant, in addition to the visa fees. IV applicants from Kolkata can undergo their medical tests at Kolkata prior to traveling to Mumbai for their interviews. Applicants need their visa appointment letters to process the medical examinations.

Practice Tip:
It is prudent not to wait until the last moment to go for the medical examination. All applicants are required to carry their passport with a copy of the biographic page and immunization records when they go for the medical examination.

There are three designated medical facilities in Mumbai:
Breach Candy Hospital & research Center (Annexe Building)
60-A Bhulabhai Desai Road
Mumbai 400 0026
Tel.: +91 (0) 22 2366 7979 and + 91 (0) 22 2367 1888 (Call any time any day of the week)
Registration between 7.30 am and 9.30 am

Lilavati Hospital & Research Center
A-791 Bandra Reclamation
Bandra (W)
Mumbai 400 050
Tel.: +91 (0) 22 2645 5918 and +91 (0) 22 2642 1111 (extn. 2074) (Call between 1.00 pm and 4.00 pm Monday through Friday)

P.D. Hinduja National Hospital
Nursing Supervisor
Veer Savarkar road
Mahim
Mumbai 400 016
Tel.: +91 (0) 22 2445 2422 and +91 (0) 22 2444 7183 (Call between 9.30 am and 4.00 pm Monday through Saturday)

There are four designated medical facilities/Physicians in Kolkata:
Apollo Gleneagles Hospital Limited
58 Canal Circular Road
Kolkata 700 054
Tel.: +91 (0) 33 2358 5211/5215 (By appointment: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm)

Dr. Vijay L. Mehta &
Dr. Mrs. Virbala V. Mehta
67 Park Street
Apsara Building
Next to Park Street Post Office
Kolkata 700 016
Tel.: +91 (0) 33 2229 5533 and +91 (0) 33 2229 1202, CP: + 91 98310 00898
(By appointment: 9.00 am to 12.00 noon and without appointment 5.00 to 8.00 pm Monday through Saturday)

Dr. Jatrik Biswas
13/7 Palm Avenue
Kolkata 700 019
Tel.: +91 (0) 33 2283 6150 CP: +91 98300 77636
(By appointment: 11.00 am to 2.00 pm and 5.00 to 8.00 pm Monday through Saturday)

Dr. Rupak Mitra
Metropolitan Nursing Home
18 Shakespeare Sarani
Kolkata 700 071
Tel.: +91 (0) 2282 – 7939, 2282-4457 (R) 2353 1716 CP: 09831092322
(5.00 pm to7.00 pm Mon, Wed & Fri and other days by appointment only at residence)

Police Clearance
All IV visa applicants, over the age of 16 years, are required to produce police clearance certificates from the passport office and from the local police station where the applicant resides. Police certificates must cover the entire period of the applicant's residence in any area. The term "police certificate" means a certification by appropriate police authorities stating what their records show concerning each applicant, including all arrests, the reasons for the arrests, and the disposition of each case of which there is a record. Police certificates are not required for periods spent in the United States. Police certificates from certain countries are considered unobtainable. All police certificates are considered to be valid for one year from the date of issuance and must be valid on the day the immigrant visa is issued.

If the applicant’s Indian passport was issued within the past six months, the applicant needs to only present the passport officer certificate and it s not necessary to obtain the additional police certificate. In addition, applicants from the certain districts in the state of Gujarat are exempt from the requirement of the police certificate from the local police station because the Mumbai Post has found that these police stations are refusing to issue such certificates. All other applicants are required to submit both the certificates.

Practice Tip:
Indian nationals are required to provide two police certificates, one issued by the Passport Office and one issued by the individual’s local police station. It sometimes takes a long time to process these, and the procedure should be initiated well in advance.

Hours of Operation of the IV Unit
The IV Unit processes visas from 8:00 a. m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. New IV applicants are seen by appointment only. If an applicant has been asked to return in person, he/she should go to the Mumbai Post at 8:30 am with their passport(s) and any other documents requested from them. The posts are closed to the public on both US and Indian holidays, and do not see visa applicants on the last Friday of every month.

Practice Tip:
IV applicant interviews are sometimes scheduled as early as 7.30 am.

Practice Tip:
Attorneys can help the visa applicant prepare for the interview by explaining the nature of information required from the applicants. The posts in India do not permit attorneys to accompany the applicants. However, an attorney may represent the client via e-mail or letters. It is sometimes possible to make e-mail inquiries with members in the office. In our experience we have found that the Mumbai Post responds promptly to e-mails.

Fraud
Officers at the Mumbai Post have indicated that they very often have to determine whether the visa applications are based on genuine relationships or not. They have also found, on many occasions that documents, presented as proof of a relationship may be forged or may not reflect the true nature of the relationship. In view of this, the Mumbai Post requires its officers to conduct field visits where they, personally interview, the applicant’s family members and/or neighbors to determine the genuineness of the relationship claimed.

Other Services
Reporting the birth of a child to U.S. Citizen Parent(s) in India
Children born abroad to US citizen parent/s may have a claim to US citizenship. If a child has a claim to US citizenship, it will be necessary for the US citizen parent to execute an application for a "Consular Report of Birth Abroad" on Form DS-2029 before a consular officer at the American Citizen Services Unit. The child must accompany the parent to the Embassy. If the child was born out of wedlock and the father is the US citizen parent, the child's mother must also appear at the appointment. This report is official evidence of citizenship issued to a person under the age of 18 who was born abroad to US citizen parent(s) and acquired citizenship at birth. It is possible to submit an application for a US passport at the time of reporting the birth of a child.

Practice Tip:
It is necessary to schedule an appointment to file an application for a report of birth of a child to US parent (s).

Contact Information to Schedule an Appointment and to Report a Birth
American Citizen Services Unit
American Consulate General Mumbai
78, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400-026
E-mail address: mumbaiacs@state.gov
Telephone number: +91-(0)-22 2363-3611, extensions 4306/4134/4237
Fax number: +91-(0)-22 2367-7026 or +91-(0)-22 2363-0350

Notary Services
The Mumbai Post provides notarial services from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. every weekday excluding official holidays. This service is offered to US citizens and to non-citizens who require notarized documents for use in The US. The Mumbai Post does not accept requests for certifying true copies of documents, nor does it provide witnesses for documents. Those requesting notary services, and their witnesses, should bring photo identification with signature. The fee for each notary service is $30 (INR 1,380) for the first seal and $ 20 (INR 920) for subsequent seals in a document relating to the same transaction. There is no charge for notarization of affidavits of support for immigrant visa applications or for documents filed in connection with an application for US federal, state or municipal benefits. Notary fees are accepted in cash in both US dollars and Indian rupees. However, if the fee is being paid by demand draft, it must be drawn on a nationalized or foreign bank in favor of the American Consulate General, Mumbai.

Practice Tip:
The passport is the most accepted form of identification. Therefore, it is recommended that even witnesses should carry their passports when availing of the Notary Services

Conclusion
The Mumbai Post is one of the busiest consulates and is reported to receive a large number of fraudulent cases and also sees a high incidence of forged documents. Forged documents are often presented by NIV applicants whereby reducing the value of documentary proof of assets.

Mumbai Consular Post - Jurisdiction
NIV - States of Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

IV - States of Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and States of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Contact Information
American Consulate General
Mumbai Lincoln House
78 Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai - 400 026
Phone: (022) 23633611e-mail: mumbainiv@state.gov
MumbaiIV@state.gov
Web site: http://mumbai.usconsulate.gov


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