As we enter the third year of a global pandemic, the State Department has decided to expand and extend the waiver of in-person visa interviews for various non-immigrant applications through December 31, 2022.
Consular officials will have the discretion to waive the in-person requirement for any applicant who has been previously issued a visa of any kind, never been denied a visa unless the denial was overcome or waived, and has no other ineligibility or apparent ineligibility.
The in-person visa interview waiver has been expanded to individuals and their qualifying dependents in the following categories:
- Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas);
- Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas), Intracompany Transferees (L visas);
- Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas);
- Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas); and
- Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas).
The State Department has also extended consular officials’ current ability to waive in-person interviews for the following categories:
- Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers (H-2 visas),
- Students (F and M visas), and
- Student Exchange Visitors (Academic J visas).
Furthermore, authorization to waive the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely.
Please note visa interview waivers are purely discretionary and consulates may still require an interview in certain cases.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the NP Immigration team.