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Extension of Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Program

The Department of State has extended its interview waiver program for nonimmigrant visa applications. The interview waiver program allows individuals to apply for US visas without attending an in-person interview at a US consulate or embassy. The previous program was set to expire on December 31, 2023. The extension remains in effect until further notice.

To be eligible for an interview waiver, applicants must:

  • Apply in their country of nationality or residence;
  • Have never been refused a visa (unless such refusal was overcome or waived); and
  • Have no apparent or potential ineligibility;
  • Are applying within 48 months of their most recent nonimmigrant visa’s expiration date (even in a different visa category). The prior visa may have been in any visa classification except B visitor visa.

The previous program was limited to applicants for F, M, J, H-1B, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas. The extension is available for all nonimmigrant visa categories, including previously unlisted categories such as R-1 visas.

The previous program was open to first-time applicants for student (F-1 and M-1), exchange visitor (J-1), and certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas who were nationals or citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries, but this specific category of eligibility is being removed as of January 1, 2024.

U.S. consular posts are permitted to adopt interview waiver policies at their discretion; they are not compelled to implement these policies. U.S. consular websites should be consulted to determine whether and to what extent a particular post is implementing an interview waiver program.

For more information, please see our guidance on nonimmigrant waivers and consular processing tips.

Meltzer Hellrung will continue to monitor and advise on the best strategies to apply for nonimmigrant visas.