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More Visa Applicants Will Be Required To Have Interviews At Embassies and Consulates

  • July 25, 2003

The U. S. State Department announced as of August 1, 2003, U.S. embassies and consulates are required to interview a higher percentage of visa applicants than in the past, and with no additional personnel to conduct the interviews, delays are likely. Persons applying for visas should contact the U.S. embassy or consulate as early as possible to make an appointment for an interview. Visa applicants should check the U.S. embassy or consulate website frequently as procedures are being changed on short notice to cope with this new requirement. The new requirement that visitors from Visa Waiver countries obtain a visa if they do not have a machine-readable passport will likely aggravate processing delays.

Consular officials will retain the discretion to waive visa interviews for six categories of applicants: (1) children aged 16 or under; (2) persons aged 60 or older; (3) most applicants for A, C-2, C-3, G, or NATO visas (except attendants, servants, and personal employees); (4) applicants for diplomatic or official visas; (5) applicants who within 12 months of the expiration of their previous nonimmigrant visa are seeking re-issuance of a visa in the same classification at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the country of the alien's usual residence and for whom the consular officer has no indication of any noncompliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations; and (6) aliens for whom a waiver of the interview is warranted as in the national interest or because of unusual circumstances.

The Jackson Lewis Immigration Practice Group is available to answer questions regarding this issue and to provide services to employers regarding all immigration matters.

©2003 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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