There have been few recent changes in the application procedures.The company which used to be helping arm of Department of state of USA, is now no longer accepting the application and a new procedure has been adopted, log on to WWW.USTRAVELDOCS.COM for correct guidelines.
In this post "US VISA FOR SPOUSE" we will detail the procedure about applying for US VISA for Spouse of a mariner. When the company asked me to apply for my US Visa for myself it shocked me then, but when it comes to applying for US Visa for Spouse, I think very few companies actually apply themselves. This post intends to help the Indian Merchant navy mariners to apply for US Visa for spouse - US B1 / B2 VISA. For other types of US Visa you can check US Visa relevant Site https://www.vfs-usa.co.in/USIndia/Index.html .
You need to apply for US B1 / B2 Visa for your Spouse. This comes under the nonimmigrant visa (NIV) of the US VISA Types. This is required for business, pleasure and medical and most applicant receives this combination Visa.
My spouse applied for US B1 / B2 VISA online. Jotting down the steps for applying the US VISA for spouse online :
 Determine your US Consular district from New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Since we live at Jharkhand , for us it was Kolkata.
 Request your marine company to send a joining letter for your spouse on a particular ship. The letter from the marine company should have :
• Name of the Applicant (your spouse name)
• be addressed to desired US Visa Consulate
• name of the merchant ship joining
• tentative date of joining
• US Port from where your spouse will board ship (non-US port might raise few extra questions so avoid it !!)
• Agent details at the joining port and
• a note that your marine-company will take care of all the joining process and expenses.
 Have your spouse Digital Photograph ready of following specification :
• photo has to be .jpg file
• between 600x600 and 1200x1200 pixels
• less than 240kbs
• not digitally altered and
• with white background.
 Fill the US Visa Online DS-160 Form.
• start filling DS-160 at the following link : https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/
• You need to upload the Digital Photograph of your spouse while submitting the US Visa form, test it and then Upload.
The online DS-160 US VISA application form consists of different sections including :
# Personal, Address, Phone, and Passport/Travel Document Information
# Travel Information
# U.S. Contact Information
# Family Information
# Work/Education/Training Information
# Security and Background Information
# Location Information
# Preparer of Application
• Each section has set of details to be filled (self explanatory) with explanations/tips on the right side of the page.
In the Travel Information we wrote the Agents name for "Address where you will stay in the U.S" and we chose "Self" for "Person/Entity paying for the trip" since our company did not bear the expense for spouse joining.
In the "US CONTACT INFORMATION" of the B1/B2 Visa Online application form write the agents contact details.
• Once you start filling the form, each form is assigned an Application ID. Please note this Id for retrieval of incomplete but saved DS-160 US VISA Form.
• With each "Next"click the data is saved and the incomplete online US VISA form can be retrieved later.
• Keep your Spouse documents handy specially the Passport while filling the Form.
• Before submitting the completed form you will be asked to revise the same and then confirm. In the end a confirmation page with the CEAC Barcode will be generated.
• You only need to print this confirmation page with the CEAC Barcode.
• If there is still an error in filling DS-160 form, please do not panic !!! Once you have confirmed and submitted the form you cannot edit the same filled form. However, you can always fill a fresh DS-160 form and generate the CEAC Barcode again.
• Please email the confirmation page to your E-mail Id also. This will be your backup if ever you loose the hard copy of this confirmation page.
• The form has one bugging thing of getting timed out after 15-20 minutes. This is done for security reasons, in which an alert box will open and ask you to confirm "OK". To prevent your entered data getting lost, do remember to click "Save" button intermittently.
• While it is possible to fill the form in breaks and save for later recovery I highly recommend filling it in one go, if possible.
You can pay the US Visa fees at the nearest HDFC Bank and get US visa fee receipt in duplicate with 10 digit barcode number affixed to it.
The most updated list and address can be found at https://www.vfs-usa.co.in/USIndia/pdf/HDFC%20Locationsfeescenter.pdf
• Payment amount is total 7380 INR. (Visa Fee - $140/INR 7000, VFS service charge–INR 359 & HDFC Bank Charges–INR 21).
• Carry the photocopy of the 1st page of Spouse Passport and give her name as given in Passport.
• Confirm that receipt has 10 digit barcode number affixed to it and is readable as you will need this to schedule Interview appointment for your Spouse US VISA - B1 / B2 Visa.
• You will be required to submit the Embassy copy at the Embassy / Consulate, on the day of your US B1 / B2 VISA Interview.
• Obviously the US Visa fees is non refundable and valid only till 1 year from the Payment date.
• Wait for one working day after payment, for scheduling interview appointment for Spouse US Visa.
Schedule your interview appointment for Spouse US - B1 / B2 Visa at https://www.vfs-usa.co.in/ApplnForms/RegularUser.aspx
• The same link is used for canceling appointment date, modifying Courier Address and Downloading the appointment Letter.
• Take a printout of the VFS appointment letter and remember the details submitted as the same will be required for downloading it again if this hard copy/printout is lost.
On the B1 / B2 Visa Interview date carry the following Documents :
• Passport of Spouse (valid for at least six months beyond US Visa interview date) and previously issued passports,
• Your Spouse 2 recent (within six months) photograph 50mm X 50mm with a white background (explained in point ),
• DS-160 confirmation page with CEAC Barcode (explained in point ),
• Original VFS appointment letter (Interview appointment letter for US B1 / B2 VISA Interview)
• Valid HDFC Bank visa fee receipt (Embassy copy)
• original letter issued by Marine-company (explained in point ),
• original marriage certificate,
• entire wedding photo album and
• Your (Husband) US C1/D visa copy.
• Your (Husband) last contract copy with the Marine-Company (Optional...we took it!!)
While the US Visa Interview letter advised not to bring any Electronic devices including Mobile phones but the security people were considerate with the Mobile phones and requested to switch it off & submit it at a dedicated counter.
Oh I forgot ...its your spouse who will attend the US B1 / B2 Visa Interview ...;-)
Q1. When did you got married ?
Reply : On 25th June 2010
Q2. How many days ago you got married ?
Reply : Hummmmmm....14 months...
Q3. Ok Ok so its more than an year right !!
Reply : Yes Ma'm
Q4. How did you got married ? Was it love marriage or arranged marriage ?
Reply : (Smile)...Our parents decided. It was an arranged marriage...;-)
Q5. When did you meet your Husband for the first time ?
Reply : 18 months ago. It was an arranged marriage (smile again ....;-))
Q6. You are joining from which port ?
Reply : Los Angeles, USA
Q7. For how many years is your husband in this job ?
Reply : Seven Years
Q8. What is your date of joining ?
Reply : 15 Aug 2011
Q9. What is the name of the ship which you will join ...?
Reply : M.T. XXXXXXX
While scheduling the B1 / B2 Visa Interview for US VISA for my spouse, we tried to get the passport delivered at home. Sadly Blue Dart was not shipping to Dhanbad, Jharkhand. We opted for Collection at VFS Kolkata.
When going to collect your Passport remember to bring along with you following Documents :
# Any Identity Proof
# VFS Fees Receipt
# Copy of the above two Documents (for submitting)
Trust this article "US VISA FOR SPOUSE" will be helpful to you. Best of luck to all for their application for their Spouse US VISA and any contribution and experience will always be helpful to all....