Good news for the US Visa applicants, the country just announced that it has extended the interview waiver facility for non-immigrant visa applicants, this also includes international students and those with temporary work visas.
According to the US Department of State, the visa waiver extension will have a positive impact on travel to the US and is committed to facilitating nonimmigrant travel and reducing visa wait times even further.
US Extends In-Person Interview Waiver
“To facilitate travel & further reduce wait times, consular officers’ authorities to waive interviews for certain NIV applicants are now extended through Dec 31, 2023. This will continue to free up in-person appointments for those who require an interview,” said the US Travel State Department in a Tweet.
Students and temporary workers have a positive impact on the U.S. economy. Our @TravelGov team is working to reduce visa wait times and facilitate travel. Interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants continue to be waived through Dec 31, 2023. https://t.co/W7D1ED6uY7— Department of State (@StateDept) December 23, 2022Advertisement
According to a press release issued by the US State Department, consular officers are authorised to waive in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis for certain first-time and/or renewing applicants until December 31, 2023.
These categories of visas are;
- Temporary Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Workers (H-2 visas)
- Students (F and M visas), an
- Academic Exchange Visitors (academic J visas)
Also, certain beneficiaries of approved individual petitions for nonimmigrant temporary worker visas in the following categories:
- Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas)
- Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas)
- Intracompany Transferees (L visas)
- Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas)
- Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas), and
- Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas); and qualifying derivatives.
These waivers are authorized by a determination of the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Department of Homeland Security.
The waiver of the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same classification within 48 months of the expiration of the previous visa was previously authorised to remain in effect until further notice, according to the release.
By freeing up in-person interview appointments for other applicants who require an interview, the interview waiver authorities have reduced visa appointment wait times at many embassies and consulates.
In the Fiscal Year 2022, nearly half of the nearly seven million nonimmigrant visas issued by the Department were adjudicated without an in-person interview.
“We are successfully lowering visa wait times worldwide, following closures during the pandemic, and making every effort to further reduce those wait times as quickly as possible, including for first-time tourist visa applicants,” the press release stated.
However, depending on local conditions, US embassies and consulates may still require an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis.
“We encourage applicants to check embassy and consulate websites for more detailed information about this development, as well as current operating status and services,” stated the release.