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Have you already renewed your non-immigrant visa to the US? The consular interview waiver is about to expire

About to expire is the provision of the North American authorities on exemptions from the interview requirement for certain non-immigrant visas, to those who have your visa expired in the last four years.

This note is just to remind you of the measure announced last December, that the interview waiver to renew various types of non-immigrant visa expires at the end of December 2022.

The information published on the website of the Consular Office of the Department of State in Travel.State.Gov on December 21, 2021, when it extends the interview exemption until the end of 2022.

During the pandemic, in March 2021 The US authorities extended until December 31 of that year the renewal of ten-year tourist or tour visas that have expired in the last 48 months. Then they extended it one more year until the end of this year.

The complete document is reproduced below with all the specifications.

Important Announcement Regarding Waivers of the Interview Requirement for Certain Nonimmigrant Visas

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, authorized consular officers through the end of 2022 to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain temporary employment nonimmigrant visa applicants who have a petition approved by the Services. US Citizenship and Immigration

This new authorization applies to temporary workers who request H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P and Q visas who meet certain conditions, including that they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence.

Under this authority, consular officers have the discretion to waive the visa interview requirement for individual applicants H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P and Q based on petitions who have previously been issued any type of visa, and who have never been denied a visa unless such denial has been overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or people H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P and Q based on a first-time individual petition who are citizens or nationals of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)provided they have no apparent or potential ineligibility and have previously traveled to the United States using an authorization obtained through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) .

In addition, the Secretary extended previously approved policies to waive the visa interview for certain students, professors, research fellows, short-term fellows, or specialists (F, M and academic J visa applicants) until the end of 2022.

A change to the previous policy is that applicants eligible for the waiver authority because they are citizens or nationals of a VWP participating country must have previously traveled to the United States using an authorization obtained through ESTA in order to qualify.

Applicants must apply for a visa in your country of nationality or residence. Similar to the policy for certain visa applicants based on individual petitions, consular officers have the discretion to waive the interview for F, M, and academic J visa applicants who were previously issued any type of visa. and who have never been denied a visa unless such denial has been overcome or waived, and who have no apparent or potential ineligibility; o First-time F, M, and J academic visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country participating in the VWP and who have previously traveled to the United States through an ESTA authorization, provided they have no apparent or potential ineligibility .

The previous authority that allowed the interview waiver of certain H-2 applicants (temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers) has also been extended through the end of 2022. Applicants who renew any visa within 48 months of expiration are also eligible for the interview waiver.

Consular resources and local government restrictions vary widely, and each consular section is continually reviewing its ability to adjudicate visa applications during this global pandemic and as we address global issues and competing priorities. We encourage applicants to check the website of the appropriate US embassy or consulate to confirm the level of services currently offered and to find guidelines for applying for a visa without an interview.

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