Waivers of the Interview Requirement for Certain Nonimmigrant Visas

For latest updates, watch this video with Rajiv from Dec 28, 2021.

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It is possible from now till the end of 2022 for consular officers to issue nonimmigrant visas without an interview if the following requirements are met:

Waiver of Visa Interview for Work Visas

  • You already have a USCIS approval (e,g. H-1B approval)
  • You are applying for an H-1, H-3, H-4, L-1/L-2, O, P, or Q visa 
  • You are applying for a visa in the country of your nationality or residence. Note: "Residence" should include third countries in which you have permanent residence or long-term visas like work or student visas. In such cases, you do not have to apply from your country of nationality.
  • You were previously issued ANY type of visa (e.g., a tourist visa)
  • You have never been refused a visa or if refused, the refusal was overcome or waived
  • You have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility

Waiver of Work Visas Interviews For ESTA Travelers

If your country of citizenship or nationality participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you can apply for an H-1, H-3, H-4, L-1/L-2, O, P, or Q visa without having been previously ever issued a visa, but you must have previously traveled to the United States using ESTA. You must also have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility, such as criminal convictions, etc.

Waiver of Visa Interview for Students, Research Scholars, Professors, etc.

  • You already have school or other institutional approval (such as a Form I-20 for students)
  • You are applying for F, J, or M visa 
  • You are applying for a visa in the country of your nationality or residence. Note: "Residence" should include third countries in which you have permanent residence or long-term visas like work or student visas. In such cases, you do not have to apply from your country of nationality.
  • You were previously issued ANY type of visa (e.g., a tourist visa)
  • You have never been refused a visa or if refused, the refusal was overcome or waived
  • You have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility

ESTA Travelers' Waiver of Visa Interview for Students, Research Scholars, Professors, etc.

If your country of citizenship or nationality participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you can apply for an F, J, or M visa without having been previously ever issued a visa, but you must have previously traveled to the United States using ESTA. You must also have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility, such as criminal convictions, etc.

Note that under the so-called drop-box option, visa applicants renewing any visa within 48 months of expiration are also eligible for interview waivers.

Note also that the conditions and requirements in each consulate could vary.  You should check their website for updated information for you.

Comments

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Manish Adhikari (not verified) on Fri, 12/24/2021 - 18:21 Permalink

I am on J1 visa and my employer was changed. Due to which my program number and subject code was also changed in DS2019. Am I eligible for visa waiver interview?

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Pragati Gole Advani (not verified) on Mon, 12/27/2021 - 02:44 Permalink

Hello,

I am an Assistant Professor at a cancer institute in New York. I am currently in India, trying to get a stamping appointment for my O1A visa. I got the O1A approved by the USCIS and have the original I797. Previously I have been on F1 and then on J1 visa in the US while I was pursuing my PHD and then Post doctoral fellowship. I believe I am eligible for an interview waiver as per the recent announcement. But I need guidance. I was once approved for an emergency appointment request. But was still unable to book one due to the system errors. The US Visa help desk folks at the Mumbai consulate were not helpful. I need help in securing an appointment or getting an interview waiver.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Research Scholar (not verified) on Thu, 12/30/2021 - 09:17 Permalink

I am an Indian national and working as a Research scholar with a University on J1 visa since August 2021. My research is ongoing and at this time expected to continue for at least another 2-3 years. My spouse is also in US and working on H1-B. Their employer is expected to apply for Green Card in 2022. My intent has now changed to become an immigrant. Given my visa is subject to a foreign residency requirement or a waiver, if I apply for waiver and once waiver is approved can I continue working on J1 visa? If I don't apply for waiver and continue working on J1 for 2-3 years while my spouse's green card is being processed - will it be easier and faster for me to apply for a Green card at a later stage i.e. say once my spouse's application has progressed.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Aman (not verified) on Mon, 01/03/2022 - 21:54 Permalink

I am on STEM OPT and I am working for a company and my F1 visa expired. Am I eligible for interview waiver where I can use Dropbox service to renew my F1 visa?

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

You may be able to get an interview waiver, but their procedures for waiver are a part of the DS160 so far. As you fill out the form, there should be an option for a waiver request.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by K N (not verified) on Mon, 01/10/2022 - 23:34 Permalink

I haven’t travelled to india in last 8 years. Earlier this year the requirement or the folks eligible were 48 months or lesser gap. Will it be an issue or will I be ineligible as my last stamped visa was 8 years back.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Vijay (not verified) on Thu, 02/03/2022 - 00:02 Permalink

Hi, I was attended B-1 Non immigrant Business Visa in March,2018 at that time it was rejected. In this article we are seeing the message "You have never been refused a visa or if refused, the refusal was overcome or waived". So to eligible visa waiver for H1, how can we know the refusal of B1 was overcome or waived.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Mukesh (not verified) on Sat, 03/05/2022 - 21:39 Permalink

I had L-1B individual visa which was rejected during the extension process about 2 years back and my company filed fresh L-1A individual petition after I came back to India which is approved now. Does my case for L-1A individual visa qualifies for visa waiver?

Note that : I also had H1-B denial after it was picked in lottery in RFE process before L-1B was approved.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Sansriti Narain (not verified) on Thu, 03/17/2022 - 10:58 Permalink

Dear Mr Khanna, Kindly let me know if visa stamping on my passport is possible from USA and I would not need to visit India for the visa stamp. I have H1 B approval. Thanks

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

Submitted by Bhagya (not verified) on Fri, 04/15/2022 - 12:56 Permalink

Hi, I attended interview for H-1B, but the given my passport back and and asked me to send 15yrs travel history and address history etc, i.e DS-5535 form. Usually why will get this form, is there any problem with this?

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on immigration.com. Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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