US visa in-person interview waived for Indians
Many students and job seekers from India nurture a dream – travelling to the USA. Times of the American dream has not withered away yet. Most of the career-driven and ambitious young folks still aspire to a day when they would fly out to their fairyland.
However, the stringent procedure for acquiring a US visa does not make this dream that easier. The visa application process may be more straightforward and uncompromising. But the mandatory physical presence for an interview at the US consulate is not that easy for all.
Not to exaggerate the least, this tedious process has wrecked the hope of many from moving forward with the plan.
A slight relief has been brought to this hassle as the US government waives in-person interview requirements for several visa applicants from India.
Let us get on to the details of the good news.
What is an in-person interview for a US visa?
An in-person interview is a significant part of the laborious process of US visa application.
As soon as one makes the visa fee payment and submission the supporting documents, one should also get ready for the subsequent interview at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
One should carry all the necessary supporting documents, including the appointment letter, passport, and photographs.
The entire process of attending this interview can be exhausting, mainly because of being in person in time, waiting times in the queue and the tiring travel to the Consulate.
Especially during the post-pandemic situation, in-person interviews can turn out to be more tiresome. The procedure involves multiple security checks and long waits.
What is the newly introduced waiver, and who will benefit from it?
Considering the pandemic and related restrictions, the US government has decided to waive in-person interview requirements for many visa
applicants in India. The waiver came in as a result of various studies carried out by the diplomatic mission of the USA in India.
This convenient exemption is valid through December 31 this year and will benefit many Indian applicants, including students and workers.
The visa applicants eligible for the waiver include:
- F, M and academic J visa category applicants
- H-1, H-2, H-3 and individual L visa applicants
- O, P and Q visa applicants (Culture and extraordinary ability)
Many Indian applicants will enjoy the benefits of these revised guidelines.
Who is eligible for the waiver?
Though the waiver is an excellent opportunity for anyone who wishes to
travel to the USA, it is not open for all. The applicants need to fulfil specific criteria to avail of the waiver of in-person interview requirements.
Suppose you are a first-time applicant for the visa. In that case, you will undoubtedly have to go through the entire procedure, including the interview.
Additionally, suppose you do not satisfy all of the conditions to be eligible for a US visa. In that case, you will not qualify for the waiver.
Let us now see who can claim to be the beneficiaries of the waiver.
To be eligible for the waiver, the applicant should be a person;
- who has got a US visa before under any category
- Never been refused a US visa
- No indication of potential ineligibility for the US visa
Besides all this, the applicant should also be a resident or national of their application. If you surpass all these conditions, you are free to enjoy the waiver and move ahead with an untroubled visa application process.
How will the waiver benefit Indian applicants?
According to Economic Times, while responding to the revised guidelines,
Mr Ajay Jain Bhutoria, the US President Joe Biden’s advisor for Asian Americans, remarked that this is a much-awaited due for the visa applicants from India.
These improvements would be helpful to all who have their friends and immediate family members who want to visit the USA. As it will give a lot of relief to their concerns and inconveniences.”
They are no longer required to travel long distances to reach the Consulate and spend hours waiting amidst the pandemic’s uncertainties.
Indian students and job seekers are now spared from physical visits to the Consulate of the Embassy.
Apart from all other exciting aspects of the waiver, it has to be perceived as a step ahead in understanding and disseminating democratic values.
2022 is going to be celebrated by US visa applicants in India!
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