Home > Department of State > U.S. Visa Interview Waiver Program Expands to Mission India

U.S. Visa Interview Waiver Program Expands to Mission India

January 21, 2013

In March 2012, the United States Mission to India unveiled the Interview Waiver Program (IWP) which allows qualified individuals to apply for additional classes of visas without being interviewed in person by a U.S. consular officer. Following the success of the initial IWP, the U.S. Mission in India recently expanded the program. Under the initial IWP, Indian visa applicants who are renewing visas that are still valid or expired within the past 48 months may submit their applications for consideration for streamlined processing, including waiver of a personal interview, within the following visa categories:

  • Business/Tourism (B1 and/or B2);
  • Dependent (J2, H4, L2)
  • Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D) – including C1/D.
  • Children applying before their 7th birthday traveling on any visa class
  • Applicants applying on or after their 80th birthday traveling on any visa class

Under the expanded IWP program, the following Indian applicants may also be considered for streamlined processing without a need to appear for personal interview:

  • Children applying before their 14th birthday traveling on any visa class
  • Students returning to attend the same school and same program
  • Temporary workers on H1-B visas
  • Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas

One of the requirements under IWP is that the visa renewal application must be within the same visa classification as the previous visa. If the previous visa is annotated with the words “clearance received,” that applicant is not eligible for a waiver of a personal interview.  Not all applications will be accepted for streamlined processing. As always, consular officers may interview any visa applicant in any category. Applicants who are renewing their visas may still need to make an appointment for biometrics (fingerprint and photograph) collection, and all applicants must submit all required fees and the DS-160 application form.

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