U.S. Extends Visa Interview Waiver Eligibility

The U.S. Department of State announced yesterday that through the end of 2021, certain applicants for F, M, or J academic visas may be granted a waiver of the requirement to have an interview at a U.S. consulate as part of the visa application. Prior to this announcement, some F or J visa applicants seeking to renew the same visa were eligible to have the interview requirement waived.

This announcement extends the possibility for interview waiver to include:

  • F or J visa applicants in participating countries who were previously issued a U.S. visa of any type (with certain conditions).
  • First time F or J visa applicants who are citizens of countries that currently qualify for Visa Waiver Program for tourism purposes.

Please note that:

  • The consulate has discretion to determine whether a visa applicant is subject to the interview.
  • Not all countries or missions will be able to implement this extended interview waiver eligibility. You must still follow the directions for visa application or renewal provided through the U.S. embassy or consulate where you are located. See U.S. Travel Docs for full application instructions, or review the website of your closest U.S. mission for more details.

This announcement only extends eligibility for a waiver of the interview associated with the visa process; it does not waive the need for a visa.
Read the full announcement here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-F-M-and-academic-J-Visas.html