USDOS Extends Discretion for Consulates to Waive In-Person Visa Interviews For Certain Nonimmigrants Through End of 2022
On December 23, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced that it has extended authorization to consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants – including for certain F, M, and academic J visa applicants. This authorization also extends to certain temporary employment nonimmigrant visa applicants with approved petitions by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas).
The extension of this authorization is through December 31, 2022.
In part, the announcement states “…consular officers have discretion to waive the interview for F, M, and academic J visa applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or first-time F, M, and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in VWP and who have previously traveled to the United States via an ESTA authorization, provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.”
It is important to note that while consular officers have the authority to waive in-person interviews, consulates can still require an in-person interview for any visa applicant, so you should consult the U.S. Embassy/Consulate website where you will be applying for visa application and interview details (https://usembassy.gov).
The full announcement is available on the U.S. Department of State website, here.
We will continue to update the MIT “Major Immigration Alerts and Updates” webpage with any new policies or guidance provided by U.S. federal government agencies.