State Department Expands Criteria for Waiving In-Person Visa Interview for F and J Applicants

September 15, 2021

The U.S. Department of State announced that consular officers have been authorized through the end of 2021 to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain F and “academic J” (students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists)  visa applications. Consular officers have the discretion to waive the visa interview requirement for applicants who:

  • were previously issued any type of visa
  • have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived
  • have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility

In addition, first-time F and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may also have the in-person visa interview waived. 

Read the State Department announcement here.