US Embassy India Updates Visa Renewal Interview Waiver Guidance

The US Embassy in India tweeted an update regarding U.S. visa renewals: “Travelers with “clearance received” or “department authorization” on their previous visas can now use the interview waiver process to apply for a new visa. For additional interview waiver criteria, please see our website.”

The Embassy website states:

Applicants renewing any visa in the same category within 48 months of expiration are eligible for interview waiver. The Department of State has also authorized consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for travelers applying for F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visas who were previously issued any type of visa, if they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence. This authorization does not apply to applicants who have a previous refusal that was not subsequently waived or overcome. Adjudicating consular officers may request an in-person interview if additional information is required from applicants.

Applicants applying through the interview waiver process should allow up to three weeks from the time a passport has been accepted at the Visa Application Center until the passport is delivered or they are notified that the passport is ready for pickup. Note that during this period it will not be possible to withdraw the passport or expedite the processing under any circumstances.

In December 2022, the State Department and Department of Homeland Security extended until December 31, 2023, the previously approved authorities allowing consular officers to waive the in-person interview for certain applicants. 

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.