December 27, 2023 | By: Ujwala Bagal
Effective January 1, 2024, the Department of State (DOS), with input from the Department of Homeland Security, is extending and broadening the Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Program for certain applicants. This expansion will be indefinite and includes an updated eligibility and annual review requirement.
Furthermore, a separate program currently in place until further notice, allows consular officers to waive in-person interviews for those applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same category if their previous visa expired within the last 48 months. It is important to note that U.S. consular posts have the discretion to adopt interview waiver policies; they are not obligated to implement them.
In the updated program, U.S. consular officers can now waive in-person interviews for:
Previously, the program applied to specific F, M, and J student/exchange visas, and certain H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, Q, and H-2 visas. It was also available for certain first-time applicants from Visa Waiver Program countries; however, this specific category will be removed starting January 1, 2024.
With respect to the eligibility requirements, to qualify for an interview waiver, applicants must:
As U.S. consulates have the choice to adopt interview waiver policies, the program's application varies by each consulate. To get specific details on available services, eligibility, and instructions for a visa without an interview, applicants are advised to check the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate.
For any questions or assistance regarding this article, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.