The United States has decided to waive in-person interview requirements for many Indian visa applicants including students, till December 31. The applicants and their qualifying derivatives in various non-immigrant visa categories that are eligible to be exempted from in-person interviews include – Students (F, M, and academic J visas), Workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, individual L visas) as well as Culture and extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas).
South Asian Community Leader and US President Joe Biden’s Advisor for Asian Americans Ajay Jain Bhutoria announced on Friday that the news comes as a much-needed support to Indian visa applicants and would prove to be vital in removing concerns and inconvenience of friends and immediate family members. He also said that the programme will be instrumental in further increasing people-to-people relationships between the US and India.
Who is eligible for US in-person visa interview waiver?
Needless to say not all non-immigrant US visa applicants are getting exempted from visa interviews. So, to be eligible for the expanded interview waiver programme the following criteria of requirements must be met:
- Applicants must have previously been issued any category of US visa
- Have never been refused a US visa previously
- Applicants must have no indication of visa ineligibility or potential visa ineligibility, and
- Applicants must be a resident or national of the country in which they are applying
According to the notice, the US embassy in New Delhi and its consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai are authorized to release more than 20,000 additional waiver appointments for spring 2022 to allow eligible applicants to make use of the new interview waiver authority.