US Visa Interview Waiver for International Students Extended; Check Eligibility


Subhashri Roy
Updated on Mar 01, 2022 01:17 PM IST

After previously announcing interview waivers till the end of 2021, the US Department of State (DOS) has announced that diplomatic missions in India will now offer visa interview waivers for eligible F, M, and academic J along with other eligible visa applicants until the end of 2022.

US Visa Interview Waiver for International Students Extended; Check Eligibility

For the 2022 year, a senior American diplomat revealed that the in-person interview requirements for several visa applicants, which include workers as well as students, have been waived at the US diplomatic missions in India till 31st December 2022.

According to PTI, the waiver is applicable for applicants of F, M and academic J visas (student visas), H-1, H-2, H-3 and individual L visas (worker visas), as well as Culture and Extraordinary ability, i.e. O, P and Q visas.

Donal Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for South Central Asia, announced that the in-person interview requirements are waived off till 31st December 2022, for certain candidates and their qualifying derivatives in non-immigrant visa classifications.

However, to be eligible for the expanded interview waiver, candidates applying for such visas must have been issued a US Visa in any category previously, in addition to never being refused a US Visa and having no indication of ineligibility or potential visa ineligibility. Moreover, candidates will also need to provide proof of citizenship or residency in the country from where they are applying, the State Department added.

Also Read:India in Discussion with Top US Universities to Establish Joint Campuses

To help students seeking this waiver, the US embassy in New Delhi and its Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata consulates have released 20,000+ waiver appointments for Spring 2022, as per a notice published on the official website.


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September 20, 2021

The U.S. Department of State made an important announcement that has authorised consular offices to expand the categories of F, M and academic J applicants whose applications can be adjudicated without an interview until the end of 2021.

Consular offices can now waive the visa interview requirement for F, M and academic J visa applicants (students, research scholars, professors, short-term scholars or short-term specialists) who were earlier granted any type of US visa and who have never been refused a visa. These will also apply to first-time F, M and academic J visa applicants who are nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). However, they should have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility. The same applies only to non-US citizens who are citizens of eligible countries.

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The statement explained that applicants not from the 39 VWP countries whose visa was previously issued when they were less than 14 years of age may have to submit their biometrics but can still be eligible for an in-person interview waiver.

In the VWP, participating countries include EU member states, besides Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia, along with New Zealand, Australia,Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, the UK, among others.

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Secretary of state Antony Blinken, in consultation with the department of homeland security , authorised consular offices to have the option of waiving interview for the rest of 2021.

Stakeholders have earlier called for changes to provide alternatives to in-person visa interviews as students face visa delays.

Applicants have been asked to refer to their relevant US embassy or consulate website to get further information about the same, get confirmation and find guidelines for getting a visa interview waiver.

Also Read:Pittsburg State University to Offer Incentives to Fully Vaccinated Students

The state department further said that international students have always been one of the US' highest priorities. It recognises the contributions made by them to US university campuses, communities, cultural understanding, furthering research and knowledge and supporting US diplomacy.

The country had earlier made F, M and academic J visa applicants eligible for National Interest Exceptions letting them arrive in the US even after the country suspended entry from 33 countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: The PIE News

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