Key Points

  • In-person interview are waived for certain nonimmigrant visas through March 31, 2021
  • The interview waiver applies to individuals who are applying for a visa in the same category
  • The waiver will apply to individuals whose visas expire in the next 24 months
  • The visa waiver extension eliminates unnecessary in-person contact during COVID-19
  • Instructions are available at U.S. Embassies and Consulates for interview-waived applicants


Following the extension of P.P. 10014 and 10052 through March 31, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue to  waive in-person interview requirements for certain nonimmigrant visas.

What are the Changes?

A requirement for in-person interviews will be waived through March 31, 2021 for individuals who are applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same category. Additionally, the visa waiver extension will now apply to individuals whose visas are expiring within 24 months. Previously, the visa waiver only applied to individuals whose visas expired in the next 12 months.

Due to the extension, consular officers can process certain nonimmigrant visa applications remotely in order to limit in-person contact while the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

Applicants should note that they may be subject to a travel ban even if they are eligible for a visa waiver extension, as travel bans may still apply in certain situations. As such, please make sure you speak to your immigration attorney before planning any international travel.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

Individuals should check the website of the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for further details on the services currently available at that location. Individuals can also find instructions on applying for a visa without an interview.

Originally published 4 January 2021

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.