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Effective Jan. 1, 2024, certain nonimmigrant visa applicants are now eligible for a waiver of the visa interview requirement. The U.S. Department of State recently announced the following nonimmigrant categories are in the “national interest,” and interview waivers should be granted at the discretion of the local U.S. consular officers:

  • 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.

The notice reiterates that all applicants must meet certain legal requirements to qualify for an interview waiver and must also:

  • apply in their country of nationality or residence;
  • never have been refused a visa (unless such refusal was overcome or waived); and
  • have no apparent or potential ineligibility.