Here’s news that will make US visa applicants in India smile – visa interview waivers for certain B-1/B-2, H-4 and L-2 visa applications. US consulates in India are among the busiest in the world for US visa applications. To streamline the acquisition process for US visas the consulates are offering waivers of non-immigrant H, L, F, and J visa application interviews.
Sujata Ajmera at Immigration Blog reports applicants can take advantage of the new Interview Waiver Program procedure or a Dropbox application process, depending on when their prior US visa was issued. To qualify you must have been granted a previous US visa in India and your next visa must be of the same class. Your prior visa must have been issued after your 14th birthday; your visa cannot be annotated, lost or stolen; and you cannot have any previous refusals on your record. According to Ajmera, the India Interview Waiver Program does not include Blanket L visa applications although eligibility is assured if you are a H or L applicant and your previous visa had the same classification from the same employer. In this case, your visa also needs to be valid or to have expired within the last year.
Do you travel frequently to the US? Are you tired of standing in line and all the hassle of repeated visa applications? Then we think this news is welcome indeed. To waive your non-immigrant visa interview, complete the Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160), paying the correct fees. Then register for an account and set up an interview. You’ll need to schedule a biometrics appointment if you meet Dropbox and interview waiver requirements.
While this new process doesn’t take all the hassle out of getting a US non-immigrant visa it will likely cut down on some of the time you spend waiting for a visa interview. It’s worth remembering that there is no true quick fix for visa applications – this process does not guarantee you won’t have to go to the consulate for an interview, so make sure you apply in plenty of time. But if you meet the requirements you can easily pick up your passport containing your new visa at a Document Collection Centre.