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OFC Appointment: Everything You Need To Know

It can take a long time to apply for a visa to enter the United States. You must not only gather and produce numerous official documents, but you must also complete the required visa application. Your documents and application will be checked for accuracy when you meet with a US consular officer. However, most visa applicants will need to book an appointment at an office facilitation centre (OFC) before going to the consulate. 

What exactly is an OFC, and what should you expect from your appointment? A list of frequently asked OFC questions can be found below. 

What exactly is an OFC, and what should you expect from your appointment? A list of frequently asked OFC questions can be found below. 

What Is OFC Appointment For A US Visa? 

To expedite the visa application process, the US embassy has established an OFC system, where individuals are required to provide their biometric fingerprints and visa photographs prior to their US visa interview. It is necessary to schedule an appointment to visit the OFC centre. Once the biometrics and photographs are submitted, the DS-160 confirmation page is stamped. During the visa interview at the consulate, applicants must present their passports and the stamped DS-160 form. 

Did You Know? 🤔
The Full Form Of OFC is the Offsite Facilitation Centre. 

Check out: How to pass the F1 Visa interview questions

Documents Required For OFC  

You need to gather all the necessary documents for your OFC appointment to ensure a smooth visa application process. You will normally be required to produce the following official documents at OFC appointments:

DocumentDescription
PassportValid passport with at least six months validity beyond your intended stay.
DS-160 Confirmation PageStamped confirmation page of the DS-160 online visa application.
Appointment Confirmation ReceiptProof of appointment confirmation for the OFC visa appointment.
Visa Application Fee ReceiptThe receipt shows payment of the visa application fee.
PhotographsRecent passport-sized photographs meeting US visa photo requirements.
Supporting Documents (if applicable)Any additional documents specified by the consulate or visa category.

How To Book An OFC Appointment?

To apply for a US visa through an Offsite Facilitation Centre (OFC) appointment, follow these outlined steps for a streamlined process:

  • Step 1: To schedule an appointment for the visa interview, you can visit the official  website and select the “New Application/Schedule Appointment” option available on the left side of the screen.
  • Step 2: Locate and complete the DS-160 form accurately, providing all required information.
  • Step 3: Make the visa fee payment securely online or at an authorised bank location.
  • Step 4: Arrange two appointments either via the website or by contacting the embassy directly. The first appointment is for the OFC, where you’ll submit biometric data, and the second is for the visa interview at the embassy.
  • Step 5: Attend your scheduled OFC appointment to furnish your biometric details as part of the visa application procedure.

What To Expect During An OFC Appointment? 🤔
A visa interview is not included in an OFC appointment; it takes place after your appointment. You’ll need to bring your passports, as well as printed hard copies of your appointment confirmation and visa application. You’ll also complete biometrics (fingerprinting) and have your visa photo taken at the centre. 

What Happens Once After An OFC Appointment?

Following your appointment, you must schedule a visa interview with a US consular officer at your nearest US embassy.

After your visa interview, you must return to the OFC where you first applied for your passport to pick up your passport (s). Prepare to produce a printed hard copy of your visa application to acquire your passport(s).

You will not be required to have your fingerprints taken if you are eligible for a visa interview waiver. Alternatively, you can drop off the required documents at a “DropBox” location. The following visa applicants are eligible for an interview waiver:

If you are unsure or confused about your eligibility for an interview waiver then make sure you check with the U.S. embassy or consulate. 

What’s The Difference Between OFC & Consular Appointment? 

While both appointments are crucial steps in obtaining a US visa, they serve distinct purposes within the overall procedure. The OFC Appointment focuses on the collection of biometric information, such as fingerprints and a photograph, before the visa interview. In contrast, the Consular Appointment involves the visa interview itself, conducted by a consular officer. Here’s a comparison between OFC (Offsite Facilitation Centre) Appointment and Consular Appointment:

AspectOFC AppointmentConsular Appointment
PurposeCollects biometric information (e.g., fingerprints, photographs).Conducts the visa interview and determines eligibility.
Services OfferedBiometric data collection (fingerprinting, photograph).Visa interview with a consular officer.
LocationTypically located away from embassy/consulate premises.Conducted at the embassy/consulate where the visa is processed.
Appointment BookingRequired for providing biometrics before the visa interview.Required for the visa interview with a consular officer.
DocumentationUsually involves presenting a passport and DS-160 confirmation page.It requires presenting all relevant documents supporting the visa application.
DurationUsually shorter duration compared to the consular appointment.Can vary in duration depending on the complexity of the case.
Role in Visa ProcessMandatory step to provide biometric information before the interview.Crucial step in determining visa eligibility through direct assessment.

How To Reschedule OFC Appointment For US Visa? 

It is important to note that appointment rescheduling must be done within 48 hours of the appointment’s closing timeline. If you are unable to attend the scheduled date, ensure that you reschedule or cancel the appointment at least three working days in advance. Failure to do so will require you to wait until after the original appointment date passes before scheduling a new one. To reschedule your OFC visa appointment, follow these steps:

  • Visit the official website of the US Embassy or Consulate where you originally scheduled your OFC appointment.
  • Log in to your account using the credentials you used to schedule the appointment.
  • Navigate to the section where you manage your visa appointments or find the option specifically for rescheduling appointments.
  • Select the option to reschedule your OFC appointment and follow the instructions provided on the website.
  • Choose a new date and time for your OFC appointment based on the available slots.
  • Review the details of your rescheduled appointment to ensure accuracy.
  • Confirm the changes to complete the rescheduling process.

OFC Visa Appointment Fees 

There are no separate charges associated with the OFC appointment itself. A visa applicant is solely responsible for covering the cost of biometric services as well as the visa application fees. 

OFC Centres In India 

OFC centres are widespread in different states of India. Given below is a list of all the OFC Centres in India and their addresses. 

Make sure you go through this list thoroughly for easier access: 

StateCityAddress
MaharashtraMumbaiTrade Center, Gr. Floor, G Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai – 400051 Trade Center, Gr. Floor, G Block, Bandra-Kurla Complex
West BengalKolkataJasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor) Kolkata 700017
Tamil NaduChennaiGood shepherd, No 82, Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600034
New DelhiNew-DelhiS – 1 American Plaza, (Hotel Eros Managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019
Andhra PradeshHyderabad1-8-384/385, Gowra Grand, S.P. Road Begumpet, Secunderabad 500003

What’s The Difference Between VAC Vs. OFC? 

The terms VAC (Visa Application Centre) and OFC (Offsite Facilitation Centre) are often used interchangeably in the context of US visa application processes. However, they serve distinct purposes and are part of the overall visa application journey. Below is a table outlining the key differences between VAC and OFC:

AspectVisa Application Centre (VAC)Offsite Facilitation Centre (OFC)
PurposeAccepts visa applications and supporting documents.Collects biometric information (e.g., fingerprints, photographs).
Services OfferedApplication submission, document handling, passport collection.Biometric data collection (fingerprinting, photograph).
LocationCan be located at various sites, often separate from the embassy/consulate.Typically located away from embassy/consulate premises.
Appointment BookingRequired for submitting visa application and documents.Required for providing biometrics before visa interview.
Specific RequirementsMay have specific requirements for document submission and processing.Primarily focused on biometric data collection.

Things To Keep In Mind

The US Visa process is critical, and one must take every step carefully, following due diligence like gathering appropriate papers and understanding basic things. Below are a few points to remember about the OFC appointment: 

  • If you need an appointment, it can be scheduled at the same time as your visa interview.
  • If an appointment is required, you will not be able to attend your visa interview until you have presented all essential documents and had your biometrics and pictures taken during an OFC visit.
  • An OFC facility will not be used for your visa interview. Your visa interview will take place with a consular officer at your nearest US embassy.
  • At an OFC, there is a high level of security. You will not be allowed to bring any personal belongings with you, including a cell phone, except for the needed paperwork.
  • Officials from the US embassy will not be present at an OFC site because they are normally handled by third-party entities.
  • At your local OFC centre, there will be people who speak your language.
  • Before going to your OFC appointment, make sure you have all of the relevant paperwork. If you fail to present the required papers, you may be denied entry to the facility, will have to reschedule your OFC appointment, and your visa processing may be delayed.

FAQs

1. What does an OFC appointment mean?

The US embassy has established an Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to expedite the processing of visa applications. Before an individual’s US visa interview, candidates give their biometric (fingerprint) data and visa photos at the OFC appointment.

2. What is a VAC vs OFC appointment?

They are two distinct things that often occur at two different locations and times while applying for a US visa. First, one must submit fingerprints and a photo at the OFC appointment. Then, an individual is sent for a VAC appointment, which is conducted by a consular, which is the actual interview. You can schedule both, and that is how it works.

3. Are OFC and visa appointments on the same day?

There is no set amount of time that must pass between the OFC appointment and the visa interview appointment. The students cannot, however, schedule their OFC appointment and visa interview for the same day.

4. Are there any costs associated with an OFC?

Biometrics and photo charges are included in your visa application price, so you won’t have to pay anything extra for the appointment.

5. What are the locations of offsite facilitation centres?

OFCs are usually placed near the U.S. embassy in your area.

If you liked reading the above blog then make sure you check out our other informative blogs linked below!

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  1. I have done Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from India and completed my graduation in the year 2022 .I am 22 years old. After graduation, I have done 1 year paid internship from USA .Now, I would like to take occupational experience and learn culinary skills and also do masters in Culinary arts.How can I find the college n best course / country where I can persue studying further

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OFC Appointment: Everything You Need To Know

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