Interview Requirements Waived for Certain Nonimmigrant Visas

The Secretary of State has authorized consular officers through the end of 2022 to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants. This new waiver applies to applicants who have a petition approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and are applying for temporary worker H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas. These applicants must be applying for a visa in their county of nationality or residence. The consular officers will have discretion to waive the visa interview requirement for individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q for applicants who are citizens of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program and have no obvious ineligibility.

The Secretary of State also extended the previously approved policies to waive the visa interview for certain F, M, and academic J visa applicants through the end of 2022. However, in this extension the applicants must have previously traveled to the United States using an authorization obtained via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to be eligible for the interview waiver. Applicants for F, M, and academic J visas must apply within their country of citizenship or residency and consular officers will have discretion on whether to approve the interview waiver depending on their visa issuance history.

Finally, the previous authority allowing the waiver of interviews for certain H-2 applicants has also been extended to the end of 2022. Applicants renewing any visa within 48 months of expiration are also eligible for the interview waiver.

As each consulate and embassy has varying local restrictions and guidelines, applicants should check with their individual consulate or U.S. embassy for further instructions.

For More Information:

View the Department of State announcement here.

This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. Do not take any action based on the information contained in this post without consulting a qualified immigration attorney. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

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