The State Department Waived Interviews for Visa Applications

by David H. Nachman, Esq., Ludka Zimovcak, Esq., Snehal Batra, Esq. and Samantha Chasworth, Esq.


The State Department has waived the need for interviews (in certain cases) for visa applicants to the United States. The considerable backlog of applications since the COVID-19 pandemic made this step necessary to speed up the process of evaluating nonimmigrant visa applications. Here’s what you should know about this change by the NPZ Law Group.

Waivers for Applicants of Employer-Petition-Based Visas and Their Spouses and Dependents

The employment-based visa includes the following:

  • H-1B
  • H-3
  • H-4
  • L
  • O
  • P
  • Q

Therefore, the aforementioned visa applicants, the H categories’ dependents, and H-4 spouses must meet the following conditions to have their interviews waived for the visa application process.

  • Must have had any type of visa issued previously
  • They will need to submit their visa application in the country where they reside or have nationality of.
  • The applicants should not appear to be potentially ineligible or ineligible for the visa they are applying for.
  • The applicants should never have had a visa refused unless the refusal was waived or overcome.

Those applying for the aforementioned visa applications for the first time can also have their interviews waived if they are nationals or citizens of a country that is included in the Visa Waiver Program. However, they will need to meet the following conditions:

The applicants should not appear to be potentially ineligible or ineligible for the visa they are applying for.

The applicants must have traveled to the US previously with authorization obtained through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Waivers for Applicants of Academic-Based Visas

The academic-based visa includes those for professors, students, short-term scholars, research scholars, and specialists. These visas are categorized as the following:

  • F
  • M
  • J

Therefore, the aforementioned visa applicants must meet the following conditions to have their interviews waived for the visa application process.

  • Must have had any type of visa issued previously
  • They will need to submit their visa application in the country where they reside or have nationality of.
  • The applicants should not appear to be potentially ineligible or ineligible for the visa they are applying for.
  • The applicants should never have had a visa refused unless the refusal was waived or overcome.
  • Those applicants from a country in the Visa Waiver Program must have traveled to the US previously with authorization obtained through ESTA.

The Conditions for Applicants Who Are Renewing Expired Visas

Applicants who were renewing expired nonimmigrant visas could have their interviews waived if the visa was valid or expired within a time period of 12 months. The expiration time has changed from 12 months to 48 months now. It seems that this new rule is applicable to all nonimmigrant visa categories.

If you have any questions about how these laws in the United States may impact you or your family or want to access additional information about United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can send us an email at info@visaserve.com, or you can call us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at www.visaserve.com


About The Author


David H. Nachman, Esq. is one of the Managing Attorneys at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. The Attorneys in our Law Firm assist clients with waivers, marriage cases, citizenship applications, I-130 sponsorship for family, etc.

Ludka Zimovcak, Esq. is a Managing Attorney at NPZ Law Group, PC. Mrs. Zimovcak's passion for excellence in immigration law derives from her own family's first-hand immigration experiences. She is fully licensed to practice as an Attorney in Slovakia and New York.

Snehal Batra, Esq. is Managing Attorney of our Raritan, NJ office at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. Ms. Batra is an Indian-American attorney with a passion for immigration law which derives from being an immigrant herself. Having been born in India and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Batra understands firsthand the many difficulties and challenges that immigrants commonly experience while engaged in the U.S. immigration process. As such, she is eager to help families, businesses and individual immigrants to realize the American dream.

Samantha Chasworth, Esq. is Counsel at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. Ms. Chasworth earned a Juris Doctorate (JD) from the St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York, where she was an editor on the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development and participated in numerous immigration and family law clinics and internships including time at the US-Mexico Border at the Karnes County Civil Detention Center.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.