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Overview

The U.S. visa application process is in many ways the same whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa. It is important to know that your visa may still be valid if the passport it is in expires. You can travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport.

Interview waiver is available in order to expedite the visa application process. In most cases, using this service eliminates the need to come in for an interview. Like an interview, however, the use of the interview waiver does not guarantee visa issuance. Further, we may, in some cases, after reviewing an application submitted through interview waiver, require a person to appear for an in-person interview.

Qualifications

You may be eligible to apply for a U.S. visa without an interview based on your age, or if you are renewing a prior U.S. visa that is still valid or expired less than 12 months ago. However, if your previous passport containing a valid or expired U.S. visa has been stolen or lost, you may not use interview waiver.

Qualification for interview waiver based on age:

  • Children under 14 years of age, and applicants aged 80 or older, may apply through interview waiver if they have not been previously found ineligible for their most recent U.S. visa. Please see below in “Supporting Documentation" to ensure the correct documents are included with the application.
  • Applicants must be a citizen or resident of China.
  • Applicants must be physically present in China.

Qualification for interview waiver based on previous U.S. visa and past U.S. travel:

You may also be eligible to apply through interview waiver if you are renewing a prior U.S. visa that is still valid or expired less than 12 months ago under the following conditions:

  • You were previously issued a U.S. visa and you can provide the previous original U.S. visa in your application. If your previous visa was issued in a Diplomatic Passport, Service Passport or Passport for Public Affairs, you may provide a photocopy of the passport and visa if you are unable to obtain the official passport with original visa. Please note that this policy ONLY applies to Chinese citizens who are renewing their visa with a personal passport and the previous visa was in the official passport issued by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or Foreign Affairs Office (FAO).  If you are renewing a visa with your official passport this time, please submit your application via the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or Foreign Affairs Office (FAO).
  • Your prior visa must have been issued to you when you were age 14 or older, and your fingerprints must have been collected.
  • You must be a citizen or resident of China.
  • You must be physically present in China.
  • You must be applying for the exact same type of visa. For example, you had a B visa and wish to apply for another B visa.
  • Unless you qualified for your visa based on the visa of a spouse or parent, in most cases your current visa must have been issued for the maximum validity period specified on the Department of State’s reciprocity schedule, which varies based on the applicant’s nationality and visa classification.  For example, Chinese F1 student visa applicants must have a prior visa valid for five years, but Chinese F2 visa applicants may present limited-validity visas for renewal.
  • If you have two prior visas in your passport, then you can apply for interview waiver for one of those two (the first one, or the second most recent one), as long as the one you are renewing is currently valid or has expired within the last 12 months.
  • To be eligible for interview waiver, F-1 visa applicants must plan to continue their study at the same U.S. school or institution in which they are already enrolled. J-1 visa applicants must plan to continue an exchange program in which they are already participating. H-1B visa applicants must plan to return to the same employer as in their previous application.
  • You may not use interview waiver if you are applying for the visa categories below:
    I (journalist and media)
    H-2A (seasonal agricultural worker)
    H-2B (skilled and unskilled worker)
    H-3 (trainee) 
    L (intra-company transferee)
    P-3 (entertainment/performance)

Supporting Documentation

Note: Every applicant is required to submit a complete set of documents. Failure to include correct supporting documents in visa applications may cause delays in visa processing, or result in applicants being required to appear for an in-person interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Required for all applicants:

  • Passport: Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  • The DS-160 application form confirmation page.
  • Your most recent original visa if you are going to renew it.
  • One Photograph: Two inches square (51mm x 51mm) color passport/digital photograph, less than 6 months old, against a white background, full frontal view, without eyeglasses. Detailed guidelines for taking and submitting a quality photograph are on the U.S. Department of State website here. Your application will be refused if your photograph does not meet the requirements.
  • The Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter with applicant’s signature.
Specific Applicants:

Children under 14 years old (Reminder: Each child is required to submit a complete set of documents.)

Joining group travel, including summer and winter camp

  • A copy of the child's birth certificate. If the applicant’s biographical information (such as name, date of birth) in his/her passport is different from that on his/her birth certificate, the application must include proof of name or date of birth change issued by a government agency.

Children traveling with other Relatives/Chaperones:

  • A copy of the child's birth certificate. If the applicant’s biographical information (such as name, date of birth) in his/her passport is different from that on his/her birth certificate, the application must include proof of name or date of birth change issued by a government agency.
  • Copies of parents’ national ID cards and/or passport biographic pages.
  • Copies of the parents' current and/or previous U.S. visas, if available.
  • A detailed description of applicant’s intended purpose of travel in English that includes contact information for the U.S. inviter and a description of his/her relationship to the child.
  • The planned U.S. travel itinerary in English.
  • A certificate or description of the relationship between the relative/chaperone and the child.
  • A copy of the relative or chaperone’s U.S. visa if available, or their interview appointment information.

Please note, if a parent or parents are applying in-person for a visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General, not through interview waiver, the parent(s) may book an appointment in the child’s name and drop off the child's application at the time of their own interview. An adult applicant may bring no more than five minor applications with them to their interview; if there are more than five minors in the group, those applications must be submitted through interview waiver.

F-1 and J-1 visa holders:

  • An original I-20, signed by the school official within one year (F visa).
  • An original DS-2019 (J visa).
  • Research/study plans with detailed information about your planned studies or research in the United States, including the name and e-mail address of your advising professor and/or the head of your department in the United States. Please click here for a sample research proposal/study plan.
  • A resume/CV that provides detailed information about your past academic and professional experience, including a complete list of all publications to which you have contributed. Please click here for a sample resume. 
  • Official transcripts covering coursework at U.S. institutions.
  • An advisor’s biography, CV, or webpage printout (for graduate students who have already been assigned an advising professor at their U.S. institution).

Business travelers (All documents must be in English)

 

  • A copy of the invitation letter.

  •  

    Itinerary.
  • Applicant’s resume.

C-1/D applicants

  • A current joining letter (original copy preferred).
  • If you have a Chinese Seafarer’s Passport, copies of pages 1 (biography page and observations) and 32 (amendments).
  • If you have a Chinese Seafarer’s Identity Document, copies of pages 1-3 (biography page and observations) and all used pages from beginning to present.

Please review the requirements for your applicable visa category to determine other essential and recommended documentation.

How To Apply

If you meet the requirements above, follow the steps below to create a profile and continue the application process.

Step 1
Complete and submit the Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. (You are required to upload a photograph taken within the last six months as a part of the DS-160 process. Detailed guidelines for taking and submitting a quality photograph are on the U.S. Department of State website here.) After you submit your DS-160 application form, print out the confirmation page.

Step 2
Log-in to our online application system and create a profile to pay the visa application (MRV) fee. Once logged in, choose “Schedule appointment.” As you go through the process you will answer the interview waiver questions which will evaluate your eligibility to apply for a visa without an interview.

Step 3
After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to pay the visa fee. If you are eligible to apply for a visa without an interview, you will print out the “Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter” which you must include with your visa application to be submitted. Please read the document checklist on the Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter carefully and sign to confirm. Failure to include correct supporting documents in your visa application may cause delays in visa processing, or you may be required to appear for an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates. 

Step 4
Gather your DS-160 confirmation page, Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter, current and previous passports, photo, and all other required documents as listed in the “Supporting Documents” section. Depending on the visa category, you may be required to provide additional documentation and pay a reciprocity fee. Please refer to your specific visa category page for additional required documents.

Step 5
Go to one of the CITIC Bank locations specified here. Take your Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter and all documents required enclosed in a mailing envelope. A receipt will be given to you. There is no charge for this service.

Note: Please do not submit any documentation in a sealed envelope, as this will be rejected by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. If you use an envelope to submit documents, it must remain open at all times.

Step 6
CITIC Bank will deliver your documents to the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou.

Step 7
At the end of the visa adjudication process, the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou will return your documents and your passport to you according to the document delivery option you have chosen (free CITIC Pickup or paid Premium Delivery Service). When the documents are dispatched, your passport status will be updated and you will receive an email with the tracking number. If issued, your passport will contain your visa.

Please note: Submission of documents using interview waiver is only possible through CITIC, not through Premium Delivery Service. Premium Delivery Service is only for the return of your passports and documents from the Consulate. If you are required to submit additional documents because of administrative processing, you must submit them through CITIC Bank. If you choose Premium Delivery Service for the return of your passport, every documentation request or pass-back will always go through this Premium Delivery Service and you will need to pay for every delivery. You cannot switch to the free CITIC Pickup service after the day of your initial submission. Any subsequent changes will not be taken into account.

Important Note: The use of the interview waiver service does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, applicants may still be required to appear for an in-person visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates.