Generally, yes. If you are applying for a non-immigrant intent at a U.S. Consulate abroad, you will have to go to an interview.
The following categories of visa applicants generally do not have to go an interview:
- Applicant under 14 years
- Applicant over 79 years
The Consular officer can also waive the interview if you are applying for example for a G, NATO, or diplomatic visas.
I want to renew my visa. Do I have to go to an interview?
If you are applying for the same non-immigrant visa not more than 12 months after the visa expired and you are applying in the Consular district of your normal residence, your interview could be waived. As long as the application itself is filed within the 12 months of expiration of your previous visa, it is fine if the visa adjudication happens after the 12 month expiration window.
You should always check the website of the Consulate where you are renewing the visa.
For example, if you are a resident of the UK and you are physically present in the UK when you apply for the visa and you are renewing your J, O visa, or P visa in London/Belfast, your interview could be waived.
On the other hand, if you are citizen of Germany or other EU country, you are physically present in Germany at the time of the application and you want toto renew you B, C, D, F, H, I, J, L, M, P, Q, or R visa, your interview could be waived. Therefore, it is crucial that you check the website of the Consulate where you will be renewing your visa to find out if the visa interview for the particular visa category could be waived.
Additionally, some Consulates may have some additional requirements for the interview waiver when renewing your visa. For example, the U.S. Consulate in the UK requires that you must have answered “No” to all the security questions, and you have never been refused a visa (or if you were refused a visa), you have since been issued a visa.
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