By Morgan Rosnia, Partner |

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has authorized consular officers to waive in-person interviews for specific nonimmigrant visa applicants. Categories eligible for interview waivers include first-time H-2 visa applicants and other nonimmigrant visa applicants renewing within 48 months of visa expiration (excluding B visas).

  • Applicants must meet legal requirements for interview waiver eligibility.
  • Implementation begins January 1, 2024, and is subject to annual review, remaining in effect until further notice.
  • Renewal applicants in the same visa category within 48 months of visa expiration remain eligible for interview waiver.
  • Additional criteria for eligibility include applying in the country of nationality or residence, no prior visa refusals (unless overcome or waived), and no apparent or potential ineligibility.
  • Consular officers retain the discretion to require in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis or due to local conditions.
  • Applicants are advised to check embassy and consulate websites for detailed visa application requirements, procedures, and updates on operating status and services.

Reference: AILA Doc. No. 23122231 (Posted 12/22/23)