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US waives in-person interviews for F, M, J, and other visas through 2022

Updated on 26 June, 2023

International students applying to US universities would no longer have to wait for in-person visa interviews. To shorten visa wait times, the United States of America will permit its consular officials to waive in-person interviews for F, M, and other non-immigrant visa applicants. 

To boost its diplomatic missions in India, the US has waived in-person interviews for various categories of Indian visa applicants. The visa applicants who are eligible for this waiver are students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), people with culture and extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas), as per media reports. 

Furthermore, applicants renewing any visa within 48 months of expiration are eligible for an interview waiver.

The issue of visas was raised by Ajay Jain Bhutoria, South Asian Community Leader and US President Joe Biden’s Advisor for Asian Americans, in a meeting with Donald Lu, Secretary of State for South Central Asia, in California last week.

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“This is much-needed support to visa applicants. This would be very helpful to our friends and immediate family members and remove many of their concerns and inconveniences,” media reports quoted Ajay Jain Bhutoria as saying. 

The US Department of State has the authority to waive the in-person interview for certain categories of visa applicants, informed Donald Lu. 

The consular sections across India are now accepting a limited number of drop box applications for renewals of H, L, C1/D, O, I, F, M, and J visas at our Visa Application Centers. Applicants need to visit the official website—-usembassy.gov—to determine whether they are eligible for drop box processing and schedule an appointment for document drop-off,” the US embassy said.

The US embassy further added, “it understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. Hence, it is working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible.” 


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