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US Embassy is launching New Interview Waiver Pilot Program for certain Non-Immigrant Visa categories.

In plain simple English – Certain non-immigrant USA Visa holders can renew USA visa  without attending the interview.

President Obama announced that the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working together to improve and speed up the visa process for certain categories of travelers.

This new pilot program permits consular officers to waive interviews for some qualified non-immigrant applicants worldwide who are renewing their visa within 48 months of the expiration of their previously held visa, and within the same classification as the previous visa.

In China, many previous holders of B (temporary visitors for business/pleasure), C1 (transit), D (crewmembers), F (students), J (exchange visitors), M (nonacademic students), and O (visitors with extraordinary ability) visas will be able to renew their visas if they have been expired less than 48 months (four years), without another interview.

 

This will benefit tens of thousands of applicants in China, saving them time and money, and making it easier for them to travel to the United States more frequently.  It will also free our resources to interview more first-time applicants, and to do so quickly.

While this new initiative will open as many as 100,000 appointments for first time visa applicants, our consular officers continue to have the authority to interview any applicant who they determine requires a personal interview.

Interview Waiver Pilot Program

  • On February 13, Mission China will launch a pilot program to streamline visa processing by permitting consular officers to waive interviews for some qualified nonimmigrant applicants worldwide who are renewing their visa within 48 months (four years) of the expiration of their previously held visa, and within the same classification as the previous visa.  In China, previous holders of B (temporary visitors for business/pleasure), C1 (transit), D (crewmembers), F (F1, F2 students visa), J (exchange visitors), M (nonacademic students), and O (visitors with extraordinary ability) visas can renew their visas if they have been expired less than 48 months (four years).
  • Over the course of the year, this policy could open as many as 100,000 interview appointments for Chinese travelers applying for visas for the first time.

If you read the underlined sentence above, its says worldwide.

This New US Visa Interview Waiver program was announced in US Embassy in China.

Official press release (below) is bit confusing. Is the new nonimmigrant visa waiver program  applies to all the countries or just China and Brazil.

Today, the Departments of State and Homeland Security announced a pilot program to simplify and speed up the non-immigrant visa process for certain applicants, including the ability to waive interviews for some very low-risk applicants, such as individuals from any country renewing non-immigrant visas, or, in Brazil, younger or older first-time applicants. Link to fact sheet HERE for more information.

We have to wait and see if same Non-Immigrant Visa waiver program will be implemented in other US Embassy and Consulates around the world.

Update (Feb/12/2012) – This Pilot Visa Waiver program is only in China .