From Indo American News
By Haider Kazim
Last Updated: February 29, 2008
HOUSTON - Travisa Outsourcing hopes to improve the processing of India visa applications after a major upgrade of computer systems from next month.
Travisa President Jan Dvorak said that visa applicants would now be able to apply online, pay online through a credit card and track their applications online.
Dvorak told Indo-American News in a phone interview that the system was being “perfected at every step” and would result in ‘greater efficiency.”
The technical upgrades include a new computer system and a new platform at the Indian Embassy in Washington and Indian Consulates in Houston, San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
Travisa has been handling the visa collection and delivery process from October 1, 2007, after the Indian government decided to outsource visa services. The company, which has considerable experience in related fields, had won the contract after competitive bids.
With the new system, Dvorak said Travisa would be able to upload the copies of the pass ports and applications on the server and the data would be available to Indian visa officials instantaneously for review.
He said that another major improvement was in the field of tracking of applications.
Applicants would be able to know the exact status of their applications in the same way as a Fedex package.
He said the turnaround time for an application was the same day if the applications are received in person at Travisa offices between 9.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. Such applicants can pick up their passports between 5.30 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. For those sending their applications by mail, the turnaround time was three to four days for US citizens. The time for other citizens depended on the verification process at the Indian missions.
Indian missions grant nearly 350,000 visas to people wishing to travel to India every year.
Dvorak said that Travisa Outsourcing had processed about 153,000 visas from October 1, 2007, to January 31, 2008. At the current, he expected the number of visas to increase by 10 percent this year. New York topped the list with 45,000 visas, followed by San Francisco Consulate with about 42,000 visas.