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US Waives In-Person Interview For Many Visa Applicants In India Till Dec 31: Report

These applicants eligible for the waiver are students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), Culture, and extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas).

Published: February 27, 2022 3:39 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Sanstuti Nath

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The Indian High Commission in Ottawa requested Canadian authorities to "expedite processing of visa applications for students from India". (Representational Image: IANS)

Washington: In much-needed support to visa applicants, the United States has waived in-person interview requirements for many visa applicants, including students and workers, at its diplomatic missions in India through December 31 this year, news agency PTI reported quoting a senior American diplomat during his interaction with Indian community leaders. These applicants eligible for the waiver are students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), Culture, and extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas).

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“This would be very helpful to our friends and immediate family members and remove a lot of their concerns and remove inconveniences,” Ajay Jain Bhutoria, South Asian Community Leader and US President Joe Biden’s Advisor for Asian Americans, said after his meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for South Central Asia, Donal Lu.

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As per the report, Bhutoria has raised the issue of visas during his meeting with Lu in Silicon Valley in the US state of California on Friday.

Lu informed that through December 31, of this year, the US Department of State is authorised to waive in-person interview requirements for certain applicants and their qualifying derivatives in various non-immigrant visa classifications.

Eligibility Requirments for Waiver Programme

As per the report, to be eligible for the expanded interview waiver programme, applicants seeking these visa classifications must have previously been issued any category of US visa; have never been refused a US visa, and have no indication of ineligibility or potential visa ineligibility.

They also need to be a resident or national of the country in which they are applying; among others, the State Department said.

The US embassy in New Delhi and its consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai will release more than 20,000 additional waivers (dropbox) appointments for Spring 2022 to allow qualified applicants to make use of the new interview waiver authority, according to a notice posted on the website of the US Embassy in New Delhi.

Other Highlights of the meeting

During the meeting, Bhutoria discussed with Lu to increase people-to-people relationships between the US and India. He stressed the importance of both the US and India working closely together in South Central Asia. Both India and the US are strong democracies and share democratic values and provide leadership in the Asia Pacific region, he said.

They also discussed the immense contribution made by the Indian American diaspora and their influential role in digital economic growth, startups and establishing businesses and companies, and contributing to the growth of the US economy.

Assistant Secretary Lu, Bhutoria, Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna also met at the afternoon event to discuss with Afghan community leaders, elected officials the Afghanistan refugee resettlement.

During the meeting, Lu highlighted recent immigration changes, recognising the tremendous opportunities that US work and study offer and the important contributions of international visitors to US communities, campuses, and the economy, the Department of State has streamlined visa processes for many applicants while continuing to protect national security, a media release said.

(With agency inputs)

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Published Date: February 27, 2022 3:39 PM IST