Consular Team India
On May 1, 2013 the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation announced that Consular Team India (CTI) has been chosen as one of the “Top 25” programs in this year’s Innovations in American Government Award competition. The 25 semi-finalists represent the top 5 percent of the contest’s initial applicant pool. The Innovations in American Government Awards is the United States’ preeminent program devoted to recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. The program highlights exemplary models of government innovation in the United States at the federal, state, and local levels. The Department of State is proud of the excellence we have created in India for our customers and is honored to be among the semi-finalists.
Consular Team India: At Your Service
Consular Team India (CTI) is the coordinated team of professionals in our Embassy and four Consulates across India that strives to provide excellent consular services, both to Indians and to U.S. citizens. Whether we are facilitating travel to the United States, fostering person-to-person relations, or working to protect and assist U.S. citizens, CTI serves its clientele with enthusiasm and professionalism.
CTI encompasses the consular teams located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. Last year (Fiscal 2013) CTI processed nearly 598,355 visas for Indians planning to travel to the United States and assisted many of the more than 1 million U.S. citizens who visited India. Whether it is helping an Indian student start class in a U.S. university, assisting a business executive travelling to finalize a critical contract, helping American parents document the birth of a new baby abroad, or sending an immigrant to start a new life in the United States, CTI is there.
What makes CTI different?
For decades, the various American posts in India had processes as diverse as the Indian cities they inhabited, with unique procedures, local rules, and ways of doing business that at times caused confusion and wasted time. But in September of 2009, U.S. Embassy New Delhi and the U.S. Consulates across India adopted an innovative approach to providing consular services. Instead of working independently, consular units formed a larger team. As part of Consular Team India, each consular operation functions as part of an India-wide system, not just a local outpost. The success of CTI in unifying five geographically, culturally and linguistically diverse posts across an area one third the size of the United States with a population four times larger is a remarkable achievement. But this is no top-down bureaucracy: each post in CTI has ownership of a specific consular function that covers all of India, giving each post a stake in CTI’s overall success. With a common base of information and shared responsibilities, the five offices continually share best practices, lessons learned, metrics, and find solutions to challenges collectively, a functioning example of the wisdom of the motto inscribed on the Seal of the United States: e pluribus unum – Out of many, one!
Today, each and every consular customer can expect to receive the same quality of consular services at every post in India – and as part of the CTI approach, for most services they can visit whichever post they find convenient, regardless of where in India they reside. Through better coordination and communication, CTI ensures that U.S. and Indian clients can expect the same excellent service and familiar processes at Kolkata or Chennai, Hyderabad or Mumbai, or in the capital New Delhi.
This innovative approach is now being replicated in other large multi-post consular countries to better serve consular clients. As members of CTI we are proud that the excellence we have created to India is now helping consular customers around the globe.
What CTI means for YOU
U.S. CITIZEN SERVICES
- Crisis management training planned for all posts to ensure uniform support and response in an emergency.
- Coordinated approach to addressing issues that affect U.S. citizens throughout India. These include International Parental Child Abduction and Indian immigration questions.
- Standardized customer service norms for documentary services such as passports, birth and death certificates and notarials.
- Reduced wait times for visa appointments. In India, visa applicants now wait fewer than 10 days for an appointment
- Reduced time spent at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy for the visa and passport services. Most Indians spend one hour total in the Embassy or Consulate.
- Applicants for most visa classes can apply at any post that is convenient to them for reasons of geography or timing.
- Improved visa processing speeds because passports and documents can be delivered to any of 33 document pick-up locations across India within a week at no charge. An applicant can interview in Mumbai and have her passport delivered to Bangalore!