No Interview Required For Certain Non-Immigrant Visa Holders

No Interview Required For Certain Non-Immigrant Visa Holders

On December 23, 2021, the Department of State (DOS) authorized consular officers to waive in-person interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants, effective through December 31, 2022.

According to a practice alert from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA, this policy applies to:

  • Persons applying for H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas, in their country of nationality or residence;
  • Were previously issued any type of visa;
  • If previously refused/denied a visa, they are not eligible for a waiver of the interview unless the previous refusal was overcome or waived, and there is no apparent or potential ineligibility.
  • Persons applying for F, M, and academic J visas (i.e. students, professors, research scholars, etc.) may also be eligible for a waiver of an interview. Like the nonimmigrant visas mentioned above, they should not have been refused a visa in the past (unless subsequently overcome or waived), and there are no apparent or potential ineligibilities.
  • For persons renewing a visa, the in-person interview could be waived if they are applying for the same type or class of visa within 48 months of their previous visa’s expiration. This could apply even to renewals for B-1/B-2 applicants, which would be a tremendous benefit, given the lengthy visa appointment wait times at certain embassies or consulates. (For example, some visitor visa appointments are next available in 2023!)

Of course visa interviews, waiver of interviews, and general consular operations are greatly affected by the Covid pandemic, because of limited staffing, and the like.

I will continue posting articles concerning developments in connection with embassy interviews, developments in immigration law, etc. and post videos to my YouTube channel, US Immigration TV. So make sure to check out my channel and Like, Share, and Subscribe!



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