A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

U.S. to waive visa interviews for H1B, F, M, H3, L, O, P, Q, H2B through 2022

Today, the Department of State announced expanded interview waiver policies for visa applicants who are coming to study and work in the United States. 

From now until December 31, 2022, U.S. consular officers are temporarily authorized to waive in-person interviews for individuals and their dependents applying for U.S. visas in the following categories: 

  • Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas)
  • Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas)
  • Intracompany Transferees (L visas)
  • Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas)
  • Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas), and 
  • Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas). 

From now until December 31, 2022, U.S. consular officers’ current ability to waive the in-person interview for Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Student Exchange Visitors (Academic J visas) will be extended.

Finally, the existing authorization to waive the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely.

These measures are to balance the danger of Covid and the importance of allowing foreign workers and students to enter the U.S.   

It is important to note that in-person interviews may still be required on a case-by-case basis, depending on local conditions.  Applicants should check with the particular embassy or consulate websites for more detailed information. 

(Immigration laws and policies change regularly.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please visit www.1visa1.com to schedule legal consultation.) 

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