Interview Waivers for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants

Practice Areas

By: Jacqueline Valle

On December 23, 2021, the US Department of State announced that it has given consular officers the discretion to waive the in-person interview requirement until December 31, 2022 for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visa applicants who have a petition approved by USCIS. The Secretary of State also extended similar interview waiver policies that were previously issued for H-2, F, M and J visa applicants through the end of 2022.

Applicants renewing any visa within 48 months of expiration are also eligible for the interview waiver.

Waiver requirements 

Under this policy, applicants for these visa categories are eligible for waiver of the interview if they:

  • Are applying for the visa in their country of nationality or residence; and
  • Meet the criteria under one of these categories:
    • Previously issued any type of visa
      • Have never been refused for any type of visa, unless that refusal was waived or overcome; and
      • Have no apparent or potential ineligibility.
    • First time visa applicants that are nationals of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):
      • Have no apparent or potential ineligibility; and
      • Have previously traveled to the United States using an authorization obtained via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

More information regarding country eligibility, service availability, and the process to apply for a visa without an interview will be available on local US embassy or consulate websites.


For assistance applying for a visa at the consulate, or for more information about the interview waiver, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.


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