Expansion of Interview Waiver Eligibility

Dec 30, 2020 | Consular Services & Travel, Nonimmigrant Visas

Briefing:

Secretary Pompeo, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification.

  • Previously, only those applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired within 12 months were eligible for an interview waiver.  The Secretary has temporarily extended the expiration period to 24 months. This policy is in effect until March 31, 2021. 
  • This change will allow consular officers to continue processing certain nonimmigrant visa applications while limiting the number of applicants who must appear at a consular section, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to other applicants and consular staff.
  • Travelers are encouraged to review the website of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for detailed information on what services are currently available as well as eligibility information and instructions on applying for a visa without an interview.  Thank you.

For questions about consular visa processing, please contact your WR attorney.

Sources:

  • U.S. Department of State, December 29, 2020, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/expansion-of-interview-waiver-eligibility.html
  • See also: U.S. Department of State, December 30, 2020, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/phased-resumption-routine-visa-services.html

Related Posts:

State Department Expands National Interest Exception Criteria

The criteria for a National Interest Exception (NIE) to the Covid travel ban continue to evolve.  Department of State has recently expanded the NIE criteria – which had contracted in March – to include travelers providing vital support or executive direction for significant economic activity in the United States.  This is a welcome development for […]

FY 2021 H-1B Cap-Subject Nonselection Notices Issued

According to reports, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) appears to have finished selecting H-1B cap-subject lottery registrations for fiscal year (FY) 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021). Employers and counsel who have not yet been notified can check their accounts in https://my.uscis.gov/ for a Form I-797C, Registration Nonselection. (The nonselection notices include a typo […]