Waiver of Interview Requirement for Nonimmigrant Visas Announcement

Waiver of Interview Requirement for Nonimmigrant Visas Announcement

Nonimmigrant visas waiver of interview requirement

The following nonimmigrant visa holders may no longer be required to undergo in-person interviews by consular officers, according to the Secretary of State, with the Department of Homeland Security’s approval, until December 31, 2023

  • Certain H-2 (temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers) applicants;
  • Students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists (F, M, and academic J visa applicants); and
  • Temporary workers who have an individual petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visa applicants)

In addition that these nonimmigrant visa holders meet certain conditions, including that they are in the process of applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence.

For certain first-time and renewing H-2 visa applicants, certain F, M, and Academic J, and individual petition-based H-1, H3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q applicants, consular officers have the discretion to waive their visa interview requirement if they

  • Were previously issued any type of visa
  • Were never refused a visa unless such refusal were waived
  • Have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility

For certain first-time F, M, and Academic J, or individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P and Q applicants who are also citizens of a country part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are also allowed to have their visa interview requirement waived by the consular officers provided they

  • Have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility
  • Have previously traveled to the United States using authorization obtained via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

A waiver of the interview is also available to applicants renewing visas in the same category within 48 months after the expiration of the prior visa. This power will remain in effect until further notice.

Considering specific circumstances, consular officers may nevertheless demand an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis. Stay updated with the changes, current working status, and services by visiting the websites of the relevant embassy or consulate.