A senior American diplomat has informed Indian community leaders that the United States will waive in-person interview requirements for many Indian visa applicants through December 31, 2022.
The applicants eligible include students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), and those with extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas), according to Trak.in.
The State Department announced the decision on December 23, 2021, via their website on travel.
Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a South Asian community leader and President Biden’s Advisor for Asian Americans, implied to media outlets he learned about the waivers in a recent meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for South Central Asia Donal Lu.
“This is much-needed support to visa applicants,” Bhutoria said after the meeting, according to WION. “This would be very helpful to our friends and immediate family members and remove a lot of their concerns and remove inconveniences.”
During the meeting, he emphasized the importance of the US and India working closely together in South Central Asia. Bhutoria and Lu also discussed the Indian American diaspora’s influential role in US economic growth. Their intention is to increase people-to-people relationships between the US and India.
To be eligible for the expanded interview waiver program, applicants seeking the visa classifications must have previously been issued a US visa and never been refused one. They also must not have any indication of ineligibility. Additionally, they need to be a resident or national of the country in which they are applying.
The US Embassy and Consulates in India will release over 20,000 additional waiver appointments for Spring 2022 to allow qualified applicants to make use of the new interview waiver ability, states a notice on the US Embassy’s website.
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