In January 2012, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) introduced a pilot program waiving visa interviews for certain types of visa applicants. The DOS has announced that the visa interview waiver program is now permanent.
According to a new section in the DOS Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), consular officers can waive the interview for applicants seeking to renew any nonimmigrant visa within 12 months of expiration of the initial visa in the same classification.
With the exception of E, H, L, P or R visas, interview waivers are also available for nonimmigrant visa renewals up to 48 months after expiration of the initial visa in the same classification.
The DOS has also made permanent the pilot program permitting interviews to be waived for certain first-time Brazilian visa applicants. To qualify, the applicant must be younger than 16 years or 66 years or older.
It is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney regarding your eligibility for the interview waiver program, because each U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad will implement more specific procedures, which may vary from post to post.