Important Update on Waivers of the Interview Requirement for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants

Last Updated: December 21, 2023

The Secretary of State, following consultations with the Department of Homeland Security, has determined that the following categories of interview waivers are in the national interest.  Changes based on that determination are implemented by consular officers, who now have the authority and discretion to waive the in-person interview for:

  • First time H-2 visa applicants (temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers); and

  • Other nonimmigrant visa applicants applying for any nonimmigrant visa classification who:

    • Were previously issued a nonimmigrant visa in any classification, unless the only prior issued visa was a B visa; and
    • Are applying within 48 months of their most recent nonimmigrant visa’s expiration date.

In all cases, applicants must meet certain legal requirements to qualify for an interview waiver.  Implementation of this authority begins January 1, 2024, and will be reviewed annually.  This authority is in place until further notice.

As a reminder, applicants renewing a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration date continue to be eligible for interview waiver until further notice. 

To be eligible for an interview waiver, applicants must also meet certain criteria, including that they:

  • apply in their country of nationality or residence.

  • have never been refused a visa (unless such refusal was overcome or waived).

  • have no apparent or potential ineligibility.

Consular officers may still require in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis or because of local conditions.  We encourage applicants to check embassy and consulate websites for more detailed information about visa application requirements and procedures, and to learn more about the embassy’s operating status and services.