by Luke Phillips
For certain nonimmigrant visa applicants with approved petitions, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) has extended authorization for consular officers to waive interviews through December 31, 2022. The extension of authorization applies to applicants for H-2, F, M, and academic J visas, and to applicants renewing any visa type within 48 months of expiration. Additionally, the authorization has expanded to applicants for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas. The authorization only applies to applicants who are in their country of nationality or residence.
Consular officers have discretionary authority to waive the interview for individual petition-based applicants for any of the above-mentioned visa types who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent or potential ineligibility. Furthermore, discretion to waive the interview also extends to first-time applicants who are citizens or nationals of a Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) participating country if they previously traveled to the U.S. using authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) and there is no apparent or potential ineligibility.
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Immigration ““ The Firm represents businesses, institutions of higher learning, and individuals with respect to immigration-related matters, including obtaining visitor visas, temporary and permanent work visas, consular processing of visas, obtaining citizenship, advising employers on employment sanctions issues, and defending employers faced with INS I-9 audits and investigations.
Luke T. Phillips practices primarily in the area of immigration law, representing corporations and institutions of higher education with their immigration needs, including obtaining temporary and permanent visas, handling employer sanctions issues, I-9 and E-Verify employment eligibility verification compliance, consular processing, and naturalization.