U.S. Mission in India Expands Interview Waiver Program
In March 2012, the U.S. mission to India unveiled the Interview Waiver Program, which allows qualified individuals to apply for additional classes of visas without being interviewed in person by a U.S. consular officer. Building on the success of the IWP, the U.S. mission is expanding the program.
Under the current program, Indian visa applicants who are renewing visas that are still valid or that expired within the past forty-eight months may submit their applications for consideration for streamlined processing, including waiver of a personal interview, within the following categories:
- Business/Tourist (B1/B2);
- Dependent (J2, H4, L2);
- Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D), including C1/D1
- Children applying before their seventh birthdays traveling in any visa class; and
- Applicants applying on or after their eightieth birthdays traveling in any visa class.
Under the expanded program, the following Indian applicants may also be considered for streamlined processing:
- Children applying before their fourteenth birthdays traveling in any visa class;
- Students returning to attend the same school and same program;
- Temporary workers on H1-B visas; and
- Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas.
The renewal application must be within the same classification as the previous visa. If the 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, and consular officers may interview any visa applicant in any category. Applicants who are renewing their visas may still need to make appointments for biometrics collection, and all applicants must submit all required fees and the DS-160 application forms.
e-Request System Expanded
USCIS announced the expansion of its e-Request system, the web-based tool that allows customers to inquire about applications and petitions filed with USCIS. The system now allows customers to:
- Create a service request for all forms to inquire about the status of an application/petition if it is outside of the normal processing time OR notify USCIS about an administrative error in a document sent by USCIS.
- For Forms I-90 and N-400 only, inquire about a notice sent by USCIS.
The system also provides accessibility to individuals with disabilities. For more information on the e-Request system or to submit a request, visit https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/Intro.do.
[This is an excerpt from the Dec. 15, 2012, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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