Study in USA: Department of State Issues Interview Waiver to Reduce Student Visa Requirements 

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Study in USA: Department of State Issues Interview Waiver to Reduce Student Visa Requirements

The US Department of State has recently released guidelines to waive the visa interview for non-immigrant streams. US student visas will also benefit from this change as the requirements for US visa application will be simplified. 


The Secretary of State in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security undertook this decision. Changes regarding the decision are implemented from the 1st of January 2024. Such interview waivers were considered under ‘national interest’ and will be reviewed annually.

However, there is a catch. Only those who have been issued a non-immigrant visa before can avail of this interview waiver. Moreover, their non-immigrant visa could be any, except the Type B visa. 

Nevertheless, you can only apply for this interview waiver within 48 months of the expiry of your previous non-immigrant visa. Any applications submitted after this period will considered for a regular interview. 

Nonetheless, the US visa authorities will not continue with interview waivers for first-time applicants. This step is to ensure that the applicant is a genuine student. As more and more students are applying to study in the US each year the authorities must also renew their checklists to avoid discrepancies. 

Why is There a Waiver for Second Time Applicants?

The interview waivers were first introduced in 2021 for certain non-immigrant US visa categories. Initially, these also included first-time visa applicants. Additionally, the authorities bound this decision until the end of 2022.

As the deadline approaches, the concerned authorities renew the decisions. This time leaving the first-time applicants out of the list to avoid improper application screening. Nevertheless, the visa waiver policy continues with those who are applying for the non-immigrant visa for the second time.

This year, the international education associations urged the USA to continue the visa waiver scheme. This will help them reduce the application processing time for those who have already once cleared the interview. 

Some organisations even wrote to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to make this waiver a permanent practice. To stay updated with progress on this request and other study abroad related news make sure you follow Leverage Edu News Updates. 

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