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Key Points

  • A nonimmigrant visa interview waiver has been extended through December 31, 2023
  • The waiver applies to certain nonimmigrant visa applicants
  • Qualifying applicants do not need to have an in-person interview
  • The interview waivers will apply to H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, Q, F, M, or academic J visa applicants


The US State Department and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend a visa interview waiver through December 31, 2023. The provisions of the visa waiver extension will remain unchanged from the original waiver issued in March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The in-person interview requirement will be waived for the following nonimmigrant visa applicants:

  • Individual petition-based temporary workers who are applying for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P and Q visas
  • Some temporary agricultural and nonagricultural workers who are applying for H-2 visas
    • H-2 applicants must be applying for a visa in their country of residence or nationality to be eligible for an interview waiver
  • Professors, students, short-term scholars, research scholars, and specialists who are applying for F, M, and academic J visas
  • Nonimmigrants who are renewing a visa in the same category within 48 months of the expiration date

Individuals who are applying for an H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, Q, F, M, or academic J visa for the first time must apply for a visa in their country of residence or nationality. They must have previously been issued a visa, have no apparent or potential ineligibility, and have only been refused a visa if the refusal was waived or overcome. Additionally, first-time applicants must either be a citizen or a national of a Visa Waiver Program country and have previously traveled to the US with authorization gained through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

Applicants who are renewing a nonimmigrant visa within 48 months of its expiration are typically eligible for an interview waiver until further notice from the State Department or DHS.

Looking Ahead

The State Department introduced the visa waiver in March 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver is now extended through December 31, 2023.

Consular officers may still require an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis, considering local conditions.

Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Dmitri Pikman, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: US Department of State

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