US visa rule: no in-person interview, long waiting period. Check the latest details

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The U.S. Mission in India resumed processing routine in-person appointments for B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) visas this month. Additionally, the Department of State has directed consular officers to waive in-person interview requirements for certain categories of visa applicants through December 31, 2022. This new authorization applies to travelers applying for F, H- 1, H-3, H-4, non-general L, M, O, P, Q and academic J visas.

The rules do not apply to applicants “who have a prior refusal that has not subsequently been reversed or overcome”, the embassy advised.

Additionally, applicants renewing a visa within 48 months of expiration are also eligible for an interview waiver, the embassy added.

However, the waiting period will remain long for non-immigrant visa appointments at the US Embassy in New Delhi and at consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai due to disruptions related to the pandemic, he said.

US Visa Approval: How to Request an Expedited Appointment

According to the official website of the U.S. Embassy, ​​applicants can request an expedited appointment through our online appointment system at ustraveldocs.com.

If the meeting request is approved, the requestor will receive an email notification.

“Expedited appointment slots are very limited. Please note that due to the high volume of requests, we are unable to accommodate all travelers before their scheduled travel dates, even if the purpose of travel is urgent,” said writes the embassy.

Extension of validity of visa fees:

Although many applicants have paid the visa application processing fee, they are still waiting for the appointment. To dispel the doubts of these applicants, the U.S. Embassy said, “The U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2023, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with fees already paid”.

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