USDOS Extends Discretion for Consulates to Waive In-Person Visa Interviews For Certain Nonimmigrants Through End of 2023
On December 23, 2022, the U.S. Department of State announced that it has again 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, 2023.
The announcement specifically indicates “… The Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Department of Homeland Security, has extended until December 31, 2023, previously approved authorities allowing consular officers to waive the in-person interview for … certain students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists (F, M, and academic J visa applicants); and for certain temporary workers who have an individual petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visa applicants) who meet certain conditions, including that they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence.”
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.