On December 21, the State Department announced that the following categories of interview waivers are in the national interest:
  • 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.

Interview waiver changes based on the determination are implemented by consular officers, who now have the authority and discretion to waive the in-person interview.

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.

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.

Erickson Insights and Analysis

Consular officers may still require in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis or because of local conditions. Applicants should 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.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.