The company that handles outsourcing for visa applications in the US is called Travisa. They were super friendly, but didn't have a lot of insight into what documentation was needed for an ART Medical visa. The Travisa employee informed me that medical visas in general are very rare , and in the two years he had worked there he personally never processed one. He suggested I should just supply as much "back-up information" as possible.
I asked what kind?
He said "Whatever you have".
Not entirely helpful. So I took my problem to a trusted friend who never lets me down in regards to supplying information, and sometimes more than I need.
So Google, whatcha got?
Lots of websites and sources all citing conflicting information
So I provided "all" that I had as suggested by Travisa.
My back up documentation:
1. The E-stamp notarized document with our surrogate mother
2. A letter from my local doctor recommending that I pursue surrogacy
3. An invitation for medical treatment by Surrogacy Centre India that shows we have a current pregnancy (This was sent before the ICMR letter was available)
4, A copy of our marriage certificate (9 years)
5. A copy of my driver's license that shows proof of current address
6. A photo copy of my Indian Tourist Visa
7. The embassy letter found here that states the United States recognizes surrogacy, and that biologically related children of parents commissioning surrogacy will be granted citizenship
And boy did I FREAK OUT when we were initially DENIED
So Round 2
Travisa became super helpful, and we were assigned an expediter who gave us his personal extension a bypass to the "next available caller" montage. Now as a Travisa super fan, we carried on.
The plan: resubmit with additional information requested by the consulate
1. The ICMR letter supplied by the clinic (Now available)
2. Redo application because currently the Indian consulate in the US cannot issue ART Medical visas. Although it exists on their website as a drop down option, we have been informed at this time it doesn't officially exist (must be coming soon) and applying for a "standard" Medical visa would allow us to comply with the new regulations
3. Letter explaining details of my previous trip to India and documentation for cryoshipping, as well as a letter explaining why J has not been to India previously
4. Letter explaining why we are committed to June or July for delivery
5. Letter summarizing our documentation
6. My old passport - since it was to expire this summer, we applied for a new one but the consulate wanted to see the old one as well .
This time they didn't flat out deny our application, and simply requested more information
They asked us to supply a letter stating that we would raise the child.
Just in case we weren't serious
But now we have them...
A little nitty gritty if your interested: Original submission to 1st denial (4 weeks) resubmission to approved (3 weeks). We applied for a 12 month triple entry visa and received a 6 month double entry. Your visa goes into effect the day it is approved - not the day you enter India, not the day you are informed of its approval , the day they approve it. Keep a copy of everything you send in and good luck with your applications!!!