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Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Eligibility Expanded – Extended Through March 31, 2021

5 Jan

The Department of State (DOS) has recently announced that it will continue to allow consular officers to temporarily waive the in-person visa interview requirement for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants and also expand the eligibility criteria for interview waivers. Previously, the waiver was only applicable to individuals who were applying for the same nonimmigrant visa classification and who held a visa that had expired within the previous 12 months. Eligibility for an interview wavier will now be expanded to individuals whose visa has expired within the previous 24 months. The interview waiver policy was initially set to expire on December 31, 2020 and has now been extended through March 31, 2021.  

As the interview waiver policy will be implemented independently by each consulate, it is likely that there will be some variation in how the policy will be implemented from a practical and logistical perspective. As such, visa applicants are encouraged to closely review the most recent visa application instructions on each consulate’s website prior to applying to confirm eligibility.  

Foster will continue to monitor consular procedures and will provide additional updates on the immigration-related impacts of COVID-19 via our firm’s website at