May 23, 2022

Volume XII, Number 143

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May 23, 2022

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State Department Authorizes Consular Officers to Waive Interviews for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants Through 2022

The U.S. secretary of state, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has authorized consular officers to waive in-person interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants through the end of 2022. Nonimmigrant visa applicants with previous petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may be eligible for this interview waiver if they

  • are applying for a temporary nonimmigrant visa in the H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, or Q visa categories;

  • “are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence”;

  • “were previously issued any type of visa”;

  • “have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived”; and

  • “have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.”

First-time H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visa applicants with USCIS-approved petitions may also be eligible for waivers of the interview requirement if they are citizens or nationals of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program and

  • they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; and

  • they have previously used the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to travel to the United States.

The previously approved policy that permitted interview waivers for F, M, academic J, and H-2 visa applications has also been extended through the end of 2022. Applicants renewing any visa type within 48 months of the visa’s expiration are also eligible for waivers of the interview requirement.

Due to differing local government responses to the ongoing pandemic, the U.S. Department of State encourages visa applicants to check the website of the U.S. consulate that will process the application to confirm the availability of nonimmigrant visa services.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 362
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About this Author

Associate

*Licensed to practice in Virginia only. Practice solely limited to federal immigration.

Meagan Dziura has worked advising multinational corporations on employment-related immigration issues since 2014.  Her clients include both large and small companies in a variety of industries such as universities, clinical research, and manufacturing. Ms. Dziura specializes in full service immigration program management, including I-9 and public access file audits.

Ms. Dziura oversees all types of lawful permanent residence applications, including those based on labor certification (PERM...

919-760-4128
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