Immigration: U.S. State Department authorizes waiver of face-to-face interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa categories until the end of 2023

CTN News

The U.S. Department of State has announced in a statement that the U.S. administration has decided to allow consular officers to waive in-person interviews for certain non-immigrant visa categories until December 31, 2023.
Recognizing the positive impact of travel by foreign students and temporary work visa holders on the U.S. economy, the U.S. State Department says it wants to make it easier for nonimmigrants to travel and further reduce visa wait times.
“Consular officers are authorized through December 31, 2023, to continue to waive in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis for certain first-time and renewal applicants. These visa categories are for temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers (H-2 visas), students (F and M visas), and academic exchange visitors (J academic visas), as well as certain recipients of approved individual nonimmigrant temporary worker visa applications in the following categories: Persons in Specialized Occupations (H-1B visas), Educational Trainees or Visitors (H-3 visas), Intra-company Transferees (L visas), Persons of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas), Athletes, Artists, and Performers (P visas), and International Cultural Exchange Program Participants (Q visas); and Qualifying Derivatives. These waivers are authorized by a decision of the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Department of Homeland Security” informs the U.S. Department of State.
“The waiver of the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same classification within 48 months of the expiration of the previous visa was previously authorized to remain in place until further notice,” the U.S. agency adds.
This decision will help reduce waiting times for visa appointments at embassies and consulates. It will free up in-person interview appointments for other applicants requiring an interview, the State Department notes.
The U.S. regulator notes that nearly half of the nearly seven million nonimmigrant visas issued by the department in fiscal year 2022 were granted without a personal interview.
Embassies and consulates may still require a face-to-face interview, however, on a case-by-case basis and depending on local conditions, the U.S. State Department maintains. It encourages visa applicants to consult embassy and consulate websites for more information. They can also consult the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs travel site.
Source: https://www.state.gov/extension-of-interview-waivers-for-certain-nonimmigrant-visa-applicants/

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