The in-person interview requirements for many US visa applicants including students and workers have been waived, at its diplomatic missions in India through December 31 this year.
Students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), Culture and extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas) are eligible for this.
“This is much-needed support to visa applicants. This would be very helpful to our friends and immediate family members and remove a lot of their concerns and remove inconveniences,” said Ajay Jain Bhutoria, South Asian Community Leader and US President Joe Biden’s Advisor for Asian Americans, after his meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for South Central Asia, Donal Lu.
Lu informed that the US Department of State is authorised to waive in-person interview requirements for certain applicants and their qualifying derivatives in various non-immigrant visa classifications through December 31 of this year.
Applicants must have previously been issued any category of US visa, have never been refused a US visa and do not indicate ineligibility or potential visa ineligibility to get the benefits of the expanded interview waiver programme.
They also need to be a resident or national of the country in which they are applying; among others, the State Department said.
According to a notice posted on the website of the US Embassy in New Delhi, the US embassy in New Delhi and its consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai will release more than 20,000 additional waivers (dropbox) appointments for Spring 2022 to allow qualified applicants to make use of the new interview waiver authority.
During the meeting, Bhutoria discussed increasing people-to-person relationships between the US and India with Lu.
He said that both India and the US are solid democracies and share democratic values and provide leadership in the Asia Pacific region.
They also discussed the immense contribution made by the Indian American diaspora and their influential role in digital economic growth, startups and establishing businesses and companies, and contributing to the development of the US economy.