According to the State Department, certain overseas students planning to study in the United States this year will be eligible for visa interview exemptions.
Individuals seeking for F, M, and academic J-visas, such as students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists, may have consular officials waive visa interview requirements.
According to the department’s statement, consulates may offer exemptions to applicants who have previously been awarded any type of visa, have never been rejected a visa (unless such rejection was overcome or waived), and have no obvious or prospective ineligibility.
Applicants from non-VWP (Visa Waiver Program) countries whose prior visa was issued when they were under the age of 14 may be required to provide biometric fingerprints, although they may still be eligible for an interview waiver.
Apart from EU member nations, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Croatia, participants in the VWP include Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, among others. Many major sending markets are left out.
Consular officials have been authorised by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to provide interview exemptions through the end of 2021, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security.
Applicants are encouraged to visit the website of their nearest US embassy or consulate to confirm the level of services currently available and to discover instructions for applying for a visa without an interview.
According to the government, throughout the worldwide epidemic, each consular department is constantly assessing its capacity to judge visa applications.
International students are today, and have long been, one of the department of state’s top objectives.
The agency is dedicated to assisting the US academic community while also enforcing US law. The department also recognises that this is a key moment for individuals wishing to begin their studies at academic institutions around the United States.
Previously, the US deemed F, M, and academic J visa applicants eligible for National Interest Exceptions, which means they can still enter the country despite a presidential proclamation prohibiting entrance from 33 nations subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Applicants seeking an F-1 or M-1 visa will be immediately evaluated for an NIE to travel.