US Visa Applicants

Certain US Visa Applicants Granted In-Person Interview Waiver

In a significant development, the US Secretary of State has extended the waiver of in-person interviews for specific nonimmigrant visa categories until December 31, 2023. This decision aims to streamline the visa process and reduce wait times, particularly for foreign students and temporary workers whose travel contributes positively to the US economy.

According to a statement from the Department of State, consular officers have been granted the authority to continue waiving in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis for first-time or renewing applicants until the specified deadline. The eligible visa categories include Temporary Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), Academic Exchange Visitors (academic J visas), and certain beneficiaries of approved individual petitions for various temporary worker visas.

The waiver, authorized by the Secretary of State with the Department of Homeland Security’s concurrence, is expected to expedite the visa application process. Notably, this initiative has already proven effective in reducing wait times at embassies and consulates, as nearly half of the seven million nonimmigrant visas issued in Fiscal Year 2022 were processed without requiring an in-person interview.

While the waiver provides relief for many applicants, embassies, and consulates retain the discretion to mandate in-person interviews based on local conditions and case-specific considerations. This move aligns with the ongoing efforts to enhance the efficiency of the US immigration system and accommodate the needs of nonimmigrant travelers.


Source: MSN