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New Waivers of the Interview Requirement for Some Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants

With wait times for Nonimmigrant visas in some categories at some Posts as long as 800 days, the State Department in late January 2024 is going to allow for interview waivers in certain Nonimmigrant categories. Consular officers will have the authority and discretion to waive the in-person interview in certain categories and circumstances.

Applicants for first time H-2 visa (H-2A & H-2B) and other nonimmigrant visa applicants applying for any nonimmigrant visa classification who:

  1. Were previously issued a nonimmigrant visa in any classification, unless the only prior issued visa was a B visa; and they are applying within 48 months of their most recent nonimmigrant visa’s expiration date.
  2. Applicants must meet the legal requirements to qualify for an interview waiver.
  3. Applicants renewing a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration date also continue to be eligible for an interview waiver.

To be eligible for an interview waiver, applicants must also meet certain criteria, including that they:

  1. Apply in their country of nationality or residence;
  2. Have never been refused a visa (unless such refusal was overcome or waived);
  3. Have no apparent ineligibility.

Consular officers may still require in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis.

Potential applicants should consult with an immigration expert before deciding to request the interview waiver, you will have to leave the country and apply abroad.

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