Many immigrants applying for visas or green cards must participate in an interview as a part of the approval process. Due to COVID concerns and other issues, The Department of State will waive the interview requirement for nearly 500,000 immigrants awaiting approval.
Waiver of Personal Appearance and Interviews
According to a release from the Department of State, consular officers will waive personal appearance and interview requirements for some replacement immigrant visa applications.
Immigrants who meet the following criteria will not be required to appear before a consular officer:
- Those who were issued a visa on or after August 4, 2019
- Applicants who did not travel to the United States with an immigrant visa
- Those who remain qualified for an immigrant visa classification as their expired visa or in an adjacent profession
Essentially, as long as you have stayed in the United States since your visa approval and continue to work and live according to the terms of your previous visa, you will not need to make a physical appearance at an interview or oath ceremony.
However, immigrants who qualify for the waiver may be required to submit a new DS-260 application and provide updated documents and medical exams. If you do need to resubmit your forms, the USCIS will require repayment of application processing fees.
So, if you qualify for a waiver, you may need to pay processing fees for resubmitting your documents. The waiver will expire on December 13, 2023.
Why This Is Happening
The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of the Omicron variant have led many consular offices around the United States to adjust their in-person requirements for staff and immigrants. Closures in 2020 aggravated the existing backlog to the point that many offices are struggling to catch up and keep up with demand.
Now, despite offices being open, officers are taking precautions to stay safe and work on any existing backlogs that cause delays.
What You Can Do
If you are unsure whether you qualify for the waiver or need legal guidance regarding immigration, contact an attorney immediately. The Department of State may require you to resubmit application documents which should always be reviewed by an experienced attorney.
Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. has over 50 years of combined experience with immigration cases, and our team is highly qualified to handle your immigration case. Whether you need to apply for a visa or face deportation, our legal team has the knowledge and experience to succeed.
As compassionate legal advocates, we take the time to hear your story and work with you to create a strategy to support your goals within the immigration system. We follow up with every client to ensure that their needs are met and satisfied with our services.
Our clients are our first priority, and we dedicate our time and resources to help them pursue their American Dream. Schedule an appointment with Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. today.