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Expansion of Interview Waivers (IW) for Non-Immigrant Visa Applicants

By March 1, 2022Immigration
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On December 23, 2021, the Department of State announced it would extend the current option of interview waiver (IW) for non-immigrant visas until December 31, 2022, and expand the program to allow new non-immigrant visa categories to benefit from the waiver of in-person interviews.

Under the current policy, consular officers had the ability to waive in-person interview requirements for individuals who are applying to “renew” a non-immigrant visa in any category which they have previously held within 48 months of expiry, and the ability to waive the interview requirement for certain first-time visa applicants under the H-2 category (temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers), F and M categories (students), and J category (academic exchange visitors) who had previously held a U.S. visa in any category or have traveled to the United States via an ESTA authorization (for applicable country nationals), had never been refused a visa, and have no apparent (potential) ineligibility.

Under the renewed and expanded policy, consular officers may allow interview waivers to individuals applying for a non-immigrant visa under the H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q categories, applying in their country of nationality or residence, who were previously issued any type of visa or have previously entered the United States on a ESTA, and have no prior visa refusals or apparent (potential) ineligibility. This authority to waive the interview requirement will be in place until December 2022.

It is recommended you check the instructions of your specific consulate or embassy at your country of residence or citizenship for details on how each consulate is processing and granting interview waivers.

Read more about the announcements here and here.

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