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US Extends Interview Waivers for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants

The Biden administration has extended interview waivers for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants from the Caribbean and other places.

The announcement came as the government said it recognizes the positive impact of travel to the United States by foreign student and temporary work visa holders on the US economy and is committed to facilitating nonimmigrant travel and further reducing visa wait times.

It said consular officers are authorized until then to continue to waive in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis for certain first-time and/or renewing applicants.

The State Department said these categories of visas are for Temporary Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Academic Exchange Visitors (academic J visas).

The visa waivers are also extended to certain beneficiaries of approved individual petitions for nonimmigrant temporary worker visas in the following categories: Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas); Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas); Intracompany Transferees (L visas); Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas); Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas); Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas); and qualifying derivatives.

The State Department said the interview waiver authorities have reduced visa appointment wait times at many embassies and consulates by freeing up in-person interview appointments for other applicants who require an interview.

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