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Key Points 
  • DOS and DHS have extended interview waiver eligibility for nonimmigrant visa applicants
  • In-person interviews are waived for applicants whose visas expired 48 months before the visa renewal application
  • In-person interview waivers were previously limited to applicants with visas expired within 24 months
  • The temporary measure is in effect through December 31, 2021
  • The agencies implemented the temporary measures due to ongoing risks from COVID-19
  • Applicants should check their closest US embassy or consulate for more information
The US Department of State (DOS) and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have granted consular officers’ greater authority to waive in-person interview requirements for individuals who are applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification. The temporary measure is in effect through December 31, 2021.
What are the Changes? 
Applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired in the last 48 months are eligible for an in-person interview waiver. Previously, in-person interviews were only available for applicants whose nonimmigrant visas expired in the last 24 months.
The agencies extended visa waiver eligibility for the affected applicants so that they could continue processing certain nonimmigrant visa applicants while reducing the number of in-person appearances at consular offices due to ongoing risks from COVID-19.
What Should Employers and Applicants Know? 
Applicants should review the website of the closest US embassy or consulate for further information on service availability and details on how to apply for a visa without an interview.
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