The Department of State has extended the authority of consular officers to waive in-person interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa categories through December 31, 2023. These in-person interviews will be waived on a case-by-case basis for certain first-time and/or renewing applicants.
The nonimmigrant visa categories eligible for the visa waiver are H-1 (Temporary Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Workers), F and M (Students), J-1 (Academic and Researchers), and certain beneficiaries of approved individual petitions in the following categories:
- H-1B (Persons in Specialty Occupations,
- H-3 (Trainee or Special Education Visitors),
- L-1 (Intracompany Transferee Visas),
- O-1 (Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement),
- P-1 (Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers), and
- Q (Participants in Intercontinental Cultural Exchange Programs).
The qualifying derivative family members will also be able to obtain waivers.
These interview waiver authorities have reduced visa appointment wait times at many embassies and consulates by freeing up in-person interview appointments for other applicants who require an interview. The DOS is successfully lowering visa wait times worldwide, following closures during the pandemic, and making effort to further reduce those wait times as quickly as possible.
Embassies and consulates may still require an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis and dependent upon local conditions. We encourage you reach out to the attorney assigned to your case to find out if you qualify for a waiver. You may also check embassy and consulate websites for more detailed information.