Interview Waiver Eligibility Extended for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants

March 12, 2021 Ian Love

Key Points

  • The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have expanded interview waiver eligibility for nonimmigrant visa applicants
  • In-person interview waivers were previously limited to applicants with currently valid visas or whose visas had expired in the previous 24 months
  • Consular officers are now authorized to waive the interview requirement for visa applicants whose visas expired in the previous 48 months
  • The agencies implemented the temporary measures due to ongoing risks from COVID-19 and they will be in effect through December 31, 2021
  • Applicants should check their closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for more information

Overview

The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have granted consular officers greater authority to waive in-person interview requirements for individuals who are applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification. The temporary measure is in effect through December 31, 2021.

The agencies expanded visa waiver eligibility for the affected applicants so that they could continue processing certain nonimmigrant visa applicants while reducing the number of in-person appearances at consular offices due to ongoing risks from COVID-19.

What are the Changes?

Applicants with currently valid visas or whose visas expired in the previous 48 months are eligible for an in-person interview waiver if they are applying for a new visa in the same classification as the previous visa. Previously, in-person interviews were only available for applicants whose nonimmigrant visas had expired in the previous 24 months.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

Applicants should review the website of the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for further information on service availability and details on how to apply for a visa without an interview. 


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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