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Sharing Application form and VFS related issues and solutions

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  • Sharing Application form and VFS related issues and solutions

    I thought I'd share my experience and technical issue observations while applying with VFS and Govt site - hopefully, it helps anyone facing these issues especially with the new VFS and no proper way to communicate with them.
    but before that,
    - My experience is limited (only to OCI), but somethings like photo spec can be applied to other processes as well.
    - VFS and Consulate information keeps changing, it is purely based on my observation - take it more as guidance than anything (use your own judgment)

    1) READ
    Read very carefully the instructions on the consulate site and on the VFS - Yes there are a lot of issues with the site and other things but these guys have spent a good time in coming up with the instructions (For example where to Mail the documents can be found in the Consulate site, Mail order of $15 to return your passport is called out in the checklist)
    READ two-three times and keep a note of instructions (yes they are buried but are available on the site)

    2) Yes you need to upload soft copy of the photo and also soft copy of the signature for govt application form. All photo specifications are the same (afaik)

    3) Please pay close attention to all the fields in the form ( always match it with your passport/visa details) : for example exactly write the name of parents (no initials or anything)

    4) The govt site generally is good but sometimes they have issues, some issues I faced was
    - Blank screen after uploading supporting documents
    This eventually got resolved by itself, but I'm suspecting it is because of storage issues, there is no point in raising this issue with VFS, either send a message to the consulate or MEA
    I have seen people having issues with Photo upload as well - I did not have it but suspect the same, folks have confirmed that it works during IST time (possible something to try out)

    5) Have all soft copies ready - check the size 1000KB - Keep the size trimmed ( I personally did not push till 999 kb), you can use tools and keep your picture clear with < 500 KB - please do the homework before start uploading the document, it can be very stressful when you are in the middle of filling the document and size is a problem (remember session timeout and other issues)
    The general rule of thumb, when you start filling it should just keep going - don't take a break more than 1-2 min for uploading documents

    6) Checklist
    - READ : There is link to a checklist that comes up during the govt site (wait for it , see, read and grab the link)
    - There is also a pop-up box that comes with a document checklist - screen grab that to verify your required document (for example when you upload you have to upload every thing in the checklist you dont need to upload things that are not mentioned)

    7) Always upload the right document, for example, address proof, they have options what are accepted as address proof's - you must provide from one of those options (for example don't add your cable bill on your name is not address proof if that is not listed)

    8) With postal only, you need to include (for OCI), one empty envelope with your address (in TO) along with your documentation in the main envelope.

    9) if you are sending your original passport (needed for OCI), send a money order for $15 or add another return envelope

    10) last time I checked using VFS own courier label is not working (at least for me), but choosing our own courier is working. I really wanted to use their courier but finally got the courage to do it on my own (two envelopes, main envelope going to VFS and put another envelope folded into the main one along with documents and money order)

    11) if you are filing for spouse and / or children. keep the two processes separate - Prepare, prepare, prepare - do not go to the site unless you have done all the home work and documentation ready.

    12) Sign - The checklist doesn't tell you to sign the govt document (even though it is obvious) - so double triple check that you have signed

    13) Sign your passport (there is a section in the passport - on the blank page before your picture page (US) where you can sign ) - VFS or anyone can send back if that is not signed (Applicable for Renunciation / OCI)

    14) Affix your photo means: DO NOT glue on top of your printed photo. just attach with a paper clip (i would suggest do not staple)

    15) Make sure the photos on the passport is differnt ( you can easily get fooled or excited when you find your passport picture from the closet and think of reusing it). when you take passport picture ask for soft copy it will be easy to upload in govt site

    and lastly, yes we are paying good fees and yes the sites are not perfect but don't let it get on your brain, that will cause you to make documentation mistakes. infact try having a little empathy - it will help (has helped me).

    btw, you have waited for so long to apply, now if you have to wait for that email response from VFS its okay (not that you can do anything about it).

    finally, these are just my experiences (esp with doc requirements) - it's your job to verify from the checklist.


  • #2
    Thank you Dhruvkk. Very helpful. I am currently applying for OCI with VFS - can you tell me what you wrote for Previous Passport (Question # 30) under Passport details. It is not a mandatory field but I am wondering if I should enter the Indian passport #. Also, per the pop-up, VFS only mentions 3 items to be uploaded (Naturalization, Address Proof and Renunciation). Did you upload all the documents per the checklist (Copy of Indian passport, copy of US passport etc?) Thank you!


    • #3
      I left that previous passport question black - please note I haven't received the OCI yet but It went thru the VFS check and is submitted to the consulate

      yes it doesn't say that but I submitted it anyways

      Last edited by dhruvkk; 11-22-2020, 11:42 PM.