** LEGAL UPDATE **
In order to deal with ongoing closures of the visa sections of U.S. consulates owing to COVID-19 outbreaks and concerns, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has announced an easing of the interview requirements. It is authorizing U.S. consular officers to waive (lift) the in-person interview requirement for certain temporary nonimmigrant visa applicants. This waiver possibility will last through the end of 2022.
You will, however, need to actually apply for this waiver. In other words, the consulate will not review your eligibility for an interview waiver or cancel your interview without action on your part. This update will discuss whether and how you can request an interview waiver.
You can apply for an interview waiver if you are either:
In addition, you must be applying at the U.S. consular post in your country of usual residence, and have never been previously refused any sort of U.S. visa, unless you managed to later overcome the refusal or get a waiver of the ground upon which you were found inadmissible.
The DOS also announced an indefinite extension of a policy allowing interview waivers for nonimmigrant visa applicants with particularly straightforward cases. You chances look good if:
Check in with your local U.S. consulate regarding its procedures for considering your request for an interview waiver.
The consulate can always refuse to grant the waiver, however, and call you in for an in-person interview. That doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem, but it could certainly delay your travel plans if you haven't taken that possibility into account.
Effective Date: December 23, 2021