In light of the fact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges for visa processing at U.S. consulates around the world, the Department of State (DOS) announced on December 23, 2021 that it will be extending the discretionary authority of U.S. Consular Officers to waive in-person interviews for some nonimmigrant visa applicants.
Nonimmigrant visa applicants eligible for the interview waiver consideration include:
All individuals must be outside the United States when applying for the visa, must meet the eligibility criteria for the visa, and not be subject to a ground of inadmissibility. Individuals applying for a Blanket L visa are not eligible for this interview-waiver program and will continue to require a visa appointment at a U.S. Consular Post. A U.S. Consular Officer retains authority to request an in-person interview if additional information from the applicant is needed to process the visa.
This authority of a Consular Post to waive the in-person interview requirement is applicable through December 31, 2022.
Eligible visa applicants should review the specific visa processing instructions, including the requirements for the interview waiver program and the mail-in or drop-box procedures at the specific U.S. Consular Post in their country of nationality or residence.
For additional questions related to visa processing, please contact Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.
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