Extension of interview waiver for non-immigrant visa screening such as study in the U.S.


The U.S. has decided to waive face-to-face interviews for some applicants who fall under the categories of non-immigrants, such as studying or working, during visa screening until the end of next year.

The U.S. State Department issued a press release on the 23rd local time saying that the pandemic has severely reduced visa processing capacity and said that it has given consulates this discretion to expedite nonimmigrant visa applicants’ visits to the United States and reduce visa waiting times.

The visas to which the face-to-face interview exemption applies are H-1B for highly-skilled workers, H-3 for job training, L visa for expatriates for multinational corporations, O for those with outstanding abilities in science and art, etc. P for athletes, artists, and celebrities, and Q for participants in international cultural exchange programs.

The interview waiver, which is currently in effect for applicants for H-2 for unskilled temporary workers, F and M for international students, and J visa for exchange students, will be extended until the end of next year.

This only applies if you have previously been issued a US visa and your visa application has not been denied.

If you are applying for a visa for the first time, it is applicable to those who have visited the United States through the Electronic Travel Authorization System, a visa waiver program.

The Department of State has announced that the waiver for face-to-face interviews will be extended indefinitely for persons applying for renewal of the same visa within 48 months of the visa expiry.

However, he added that the embassy or consulate may request a face-to-face interview on a case-by-case basis depending on local circumstances.

(Photo = Yonhap News)


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