Visa Interview Waivers for Nonimmigrants

On 11 March 2021, the U.S. State Department announced that consular officers may grant visa interview waivers to nonimmigrants renewing their visas in the same visa category. This temporary authorization applies to foreign nationals renewing nonimmigrant visas, which expired within the past 48 months.

U.S. law offers many different nonimmigrant visa categories for various purposes ranging from tourism (B-2), investing in a business (E-2), student (F-1), diplomatic visas (G visas), temporary workers (H-1B, H-2A, H-2B), to serving as a witness in a criminal case (S-5). When applying for visas, U.S. consulates may use discretion and grant visa interview waivers to nonimmigrants.

Foreign nationals file the online DS-160 Form with the appropriate U.S. consulate when applying for a nonimmigrant visa. Foreign nationals apply for nonimmigrant visas when they intend to remain in the United States temporarily. However, an exception applies to fiancees who apply for the K-1 visa; after U.S. Customs and Border Protection admits K-1 beneficiaries into the United States, K-1 beneficiaries must apply for permanent residency through status adjustment (I-485 Form). For additional information when completing the DS-160 Form, applicants may review the U.S. State Department’s frequently-asked-questions webpage.