DOS Announces Extension of Interview Waiver Flexibilities for Certain Nonimmigrants

Last Updated on February 8, 2024

The Department of State (DOS), along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has announced that in-person interviews will be waived for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants.  


The policy is effective as of Jan. 1, 2024. DOS and DHS chose to extend the interview waiver policy after deeming certain interview waiver categories to be in the national interest of the U.S.  

While the interview waiver policy has been implemented in the past, the main difference with the latest announcement is that the flexibilities are not set to expire. Instead, they will be reviewed annually and effective until further notice.  

Who is Affected?  

Categories covered in the current interview waiver include:  

First-time H-2 visa applicants (both agricultural and non-agricultural)  

Other nonimmigrant visa applicants applying for a nonimmigrant visa classification who:  

  • Previously received a nonimmigrant visa in any classification except a B visa; and 
  • Are applying for a nonimmigrant visa within 48 months of their previous visa’s expiration date 

DOS also notes that applicants who are seeking a renewal of a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification within 48 months of the previous visa’s expiration are eligible for the interview waiver until further notice.  

Eligibility Requirements  

To be eligible for the interview waiver, applicants must meet the following requirements:  

  • Apply in their country or nationality or residence  
  • Must never had a visa refused previously, unless the refusal was waived or overcome 
  • Have no potential or apparent ineligibility  

While the policy broadly applies to many nonimmigrant visa applicants, consular officers still have the discretion to mandate in-person interviews in certain cases.  

Subscribe to Immigration News Alerts from Envoy

Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Anne Walsh, who is a Partner at Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C., a U.S. law firm who provides services through the Envoy Platform (the “U.S. Law Firm”).     

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Envoy is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. If you would like guidance on how this information may impact your particular situation and you are a client of the U.S. Law Firm, consult your attorney. If you are not a client of the U.S. Law Firm working with Envoy, consult another qualified professional. This website does not create an attorney-client relationship with the U.S. Law Firm.