United States abolishes interview condition for some Pakistani visa applicants

United States interview

The United States embassy in Pakistan has announced the expansion of interview waiver eligibility for Pakistani citizens. 

“The United States Mission to Pakistan is pleased to announce the expansion of interview waiver eligibility at the US Embassy in Islamabad and the US Consulate General in Karachi for certain applicants of F (student) visas, J (exchange visitor) visas in academic programs, H (temporary worker visas), and non-blanket L (intra-company transferee) visas,” according to a statement issued from US embassy. 

The announcement further said that Pakistani nationals who already held US visas are eligible to use this programme, adding, “Expanding interview waiver eligibility in these categories will provide better customer service and support the efficient and timely processing of visas for qualified Pakistani citizens.” 

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It added: “As required by US law, however, some eligible visa holders may still be required to appear at the US Embassy or US Consulate General for interviews after submitting their applications.” 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the US Department of State had proclaimed an extension and expansion of its non-immigrant visa interview waiver program. 

Now, US consular may waive the in-person interview requirement for candidates who want to renew any type of non-immigrant visa in the same visa category in 48 months of its expiration. The authorization has now been extended indefinitely. 

On December 23, after consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, officers consular have been granted the authority to waive the in-person interview requirement for some non-immigrant visa applicants and their qualifying derivatives that have an application sanctioned by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

Moreover, the expanded authority is applicable to H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P and Q applicants, if the applicants fulfill certain conditions. 

Besides, the DOS also extended through the end of 2022 the already approved policies to waive the in-person interview for other select visa types, including F, M, and academic J visas. 

H-2 applicants (provisional agricultural and non-agricultural workers) may also bypass the in-person interview requirement. 

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