Home News US Visa Interview Waiver Likely to Extend to More Visa Categories

US Visa Interview Waiver Likely to Extend to More Visa Categories

US Visa Interview
Source: Freepik

Good news for US visa seekers in India. In a bid to minimize excruciatingly long visa processing times, United States is planning to include more visa categories in the eligibility criteria for the US visa interview waiver, commonly referred to as the drop box facility. This move is likely to bring a sigh of relief to individuals seeking student, work, and tourist visas to USA.  

The drop box eligibility will soon expand to the applicants of US student and work visas along with business and tourist visas. US B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) visa holders looking for a renewal of their visas that expired within the last four years will be eligible for drop box, a flexibility that exempts visa renewal applicants from the interview process when met with certain criteria. Earlier, drop box appointments in the B1 and B2 categories were limited to renewal applications that didn’t go beyond one year of the visa expiry. 

The US visa interview waiver facility will also be applicable for work (H & L categories) and student (may include F, M, & J categories) visa applications from individuals holding any US visa, regardless of whether it is active or expired (and when it expired). This means, if you have had a US student visa or tourist visa earlier and are now planning to fly to USA for work-related reasons, you may be entitled to an exemption from the in-person interview requirement when applying for a work visa this time. You can just submit all the necessary documents at the Visa Application Center (VAC) and be done with the process. However, if your biometrics weren’t collected during the earlier visa process, you will have to do it this time.

Also Read: US L1 Visa Application Guide

The average wait time for most US visa categories has significantly increased post-pandemic and it ranges from 300 to 900 days in the busiest Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad among others. However, several measures taken over the past few months such as adding more members to consular staff and sending drop box cases to other cities for processing have helped ease the US visa wait times greatly.

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