Interview Waiver Program Extended Indefinitely
The US State Department has confirmed that its visa interview waiver program is to be continued indefinitely with effect from January 1, 2024.
Under the program, eligible individuals can apply for specific visa categories or renewals without an interview.
The announcement also confirmed that the program would be extended and expanded to include more application categories.
The program is not mandatory and will be subject to US consular posts’ discretion. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant Consulate to verify if and how any such interview waiver program is available, or whether an in-person interview will be required.
While the current flexibilities are not set to expire, they will be subject to annual review.
Who is eligible for the interview waiver program?
From January 1, 2024, the following types of applications will be eligible for the visa interview waiver:
- Eligible first-time H-2 visa applicants
- Eligible foreign nationals applying for any nonimmigrant visa category who were previously granted a nonimmigrant visa in any category, provided their previous visa expired less than 48 months ago, and unless the only prior visa was a B visitor visa
How to apply for an interview waiver
First, the applicant must check that the interview waiver program is available at the Embassy or Consulate where they are filing their application.
Applicants must apply for the visa in their country of nationality or residence and they can not have previously been refused a visa, unless the refusal was overcome or waived. They must also have no apparent or potential ineligibility.
Since US Embassies and Consulates are not obligated to implement the waiver rules and may rely on the waiver at their discretion, for example, in response to local processing conditions and resources, applicants are advised to check availability of the waiver program in the country they will be applying.
Additionally, even where the interview waiver policy is being implemented, consulates retain the authority to refer an applicant for interview following review of their application.
NNU Immigration are dedicated US immigration attorneys. We can advise on the impact of the waiver and provide expert guidance on your US visa application. For specialist advice, contact us.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.