US visa applicants are used to it. To get a US visa, one must typically present to the local consular post for an interview with a US immigration officer. That often causes some sort of anxiety as applicants are afraid of putting a foot wrong that would jeopardize the whole application and projected travel.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Department of State have expanded options for nonimmigrant visa applicants to get their interview requirement waived. That allows US authorities to process applications faster, to limit physical contact, and to get back to their usual volume of work. And also is a relief for some applicants, incidentally.
List of conditions to meet to be eligible for the waiver includes type of visa, history of travel to the US and nationality. For instance, a French L1 applicant with history of tourism stay in the US with the ESTA may be exempted when applying at the US consulate in France.
Consulates retain discretion on application of the waiver and procedures to get exempted vary from one consulate to the other. It is accordingly recommended to remain flexible to adjust to the US authorities’ requirements.
Find all the eligibility criteria in the detailed analysis of our partner here.
This alert was prepared based on the information shared by our partner Bruna Frota and her team from INLG, and published with their permission.