The US Embassy will waive off in-person interview requirements for a certain category of visa appointments – a recent announcement.
The US Embassy has announced the reintroduction of visa processing of the routine in-person B1/B2 visa appointments from September 2022. The appointments do not act as placeholder appointments. The consular officers now hold the authority to waive in-person interview requirements for select visa categories through 31 December 2022.
Visa Waiver Category
The waiver will apply to travellers seeking F, H1, H3, H4, L, M, O, P and Q along with academic J visas. This waiver is particularly for those students issued with any type of visa previously. Moreover, they will also be applicable if they are applying for visas in their respective countries.
The US embassy emphasized that this waiver does not apply to those who have received refusals. Applicants who apply for renewal of visa within 48 months of expiration are eligible to apply for the interview waiver.
The appointment demand for visa categories remains high due to pandemic challenges and reduced staffing. The wait times for nonimmigrant visa appointments can be lengthy as well. The consular offices across India were accepting a limited number of dropbox applications for renewals of C1/D, F, H, I, J, L, M, and O visas at designated Visa Application Centres.
The candidates must decide their eligibility for dropbox processing and schedule an appointment accordingly. They can do this by visiting the official website of the US Embassy. The US embassy has promised to work on restoring all routing visa operations in a quick and safe manner.
Until 30 September 2023, there is a payment validity extension, as part of the US Mission for students who have been unable to schedule a visa appointment.