Interview Waiver & Visa Renewal

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In an effort to improve customer service, the U.S. government allows nonimmigrant visa applicants to apply for their visas without an interview under the interview waiver program. This process is not for first-time applicants. It only applies to certain applicants applying for their visas, and some restrictions may also apply.

Eligibility Criteria

If you are applying for a B1/B2, F, H-1, H-4, academic J and non-blanket L category visa, please first create a profile, proceed with your application, and print 2 copies of the interview-waiver confirmation letter to submit to one of the document delivery centers if you meet the following qualifications as applicable.  All other rules, requirements, and fees remain the same.


Before you answer “YES” to the below statements, please ensure that your situation meets the criteria. The statements below help consular officers to determine your eligibility to apply for an interview waiver but do not guarantee an issuance without appearing for an interview.

Renewal of Visa (B1/B2) for applicants of 45 years of age, or older:
  • I am renewing my B1/B2 visa;
  • I am a Pakistani Citizen applying with a Pakistani Passport;
  • My last U.S. visa was “multiple” entry (it should read as “M”);
  • I am applying for the same U.S. visa class;
  • My U.S. visa is still valid, or I am applying within 48 months of my previous visa's expiration date;
  • I am applying from the same U.S. Embassy/Consulate, from which my last U.S. Visa was issued;
  • My most recent prior application in this category resulted in an issued U.S. visa;
  • My previous visa has never been revoked, lost, or stolen;
  • My name, date of birth, nationality, and place of birth are the same on both applications (current and previous);
  • On my previous visit to the United States, I complied with all immigration laws and regulations;
Interview Waiver Applications (F, H-1, H-4, academic J, and non-blanket L):
  • I have had a previous U.S. visa;
  • I have previously submitted ten fingerprints at the Embassy Islamabad or Consulate General Karachi;
  • My most recent appearance at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a visa interview did NOT result in a refusal.
  • I am a citizen or resident of Pakistan and am physically in Pakistan at this moment;
  • My previous visa has never been revoked, lost, or stolen;
  • My name, date of birth, and place of birth are the same on both applications (current and previous);
  • I am applying from the same U.S. Embassy/Consulate, from which my last U.S. Visa was issued;
  • On my previous visit to the United States, I complied with all immigration laws and regulations;
  • If I am applying for an H1B and I previously had a J visa, I have a 212(e) waiver;

For F, or J visa holders and their derivatives who are renewing the visa:

  • Must meet all other general criteria as listed above;
  • I am a regular student and did not drop out of status for 3 months or more (principal F);
  • And one of the following:
    • I have had a previous F visa and am attending the same institution (F visas);
    • My SEVIS number has not changed from the previously issued visa (J and their derivatives).
  • Box 4 of my DS-2019 states one of the following:  Secondary or university student, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, or specialist. (J visas)

If your answer is “YES” to all of the above questions, you may be eligible to apply for the interview waiver. Please drop off your passport along with the below-listed documents at your pre-selected document delivery center. You do not need to schedule an appointment to come to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate unless a consular officer asks you to do so.

  • Current passport that has a validity of at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States;
  • Passport containing most recently issued U.S. visa;
  • The DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application confirmation sheet;
  • MRV fee receipt for the visa processing;
  • A recent photograph taken within the last 6 months measuring 2 x 2 inches with a white or off-white background and without eyeglasses. (guidelines on this webpage).
  • Resume/CV;
  • Copy of I-20 (F1/F2);
  • Copy of 212e waiver (for those applying for H visas who previously held J visas)
  • Original DS-2019 (J1/J2)
  • Copy of petition papers: I-129, I-797 notice of approval (H and L visas)

Please note that eligibility for interview waiver does not guarantee a visa issuance nor does it guarantee that the interview will be waived. Although your interview may be waived, you may still be required to appear for fingerprint scanning. Any necessary notification will be made via the email address listed in your DS-160 online application. 

How to Apply

Step 1 

Determine your visa type by reading Common Nonimmigrant Visas. Each visa type explains the qualifications and application items. Choose the visa type that applies to your situation.

Be sure to also review the Visa Waiver Program. If your country participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are traveling for business or pleasure and will only be staying in the Unites States for 90 days or less.

Step 2

The next step is to complete the DS-160 Form. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. If you need assistance, please consult an immigration lawyer or translator. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment.

Step 3

Once you have determined the correct visa type and completed the DS-160, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in U.S. dollars and local currency. To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page which explains how to make your visa fee payment. Please keep your payment receipt. You will need the receipt number in order to make a visa appointment.

Step 4

Now you will need to log in to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. Once you are in the system, you will see your dashboard. Click on Schedule Appointment on the left-hand side menu.

This will start the process for scheduling your appointment. You will need:

  • Your passport number.
  • The receipt number from your Visa Fee receipt. Click here if you need help finding this number.
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.

As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents who are traveling with you, select your document delivery location, confirm visa payment, and schedule your appointment. If you qualify for Interview waiver submission, you will receive an interview-waiver submission letter containing a document checklist. Print two copies of the interview-waiver submission letter. Drop off your passport along with the listed documents mentioned on the submission letter at one of the document delivery centers.

Step 5

Deliver your documents and interview-waiver visa application to any of the document drop off centers of Team CGI Document Drop-Off Center. Bring the second copy of your document checklist with you. A team of CGI employees will review your document checklist before accepting your application for delivery to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

Note: Failure to submit the above documents as per criteria will delay the processing of your case.

Step 6

If additional information is needed to complete processing of your case, you will be informed by email. If your application is approved, your passport and visa will be delivered for pickup to your selected Document Collection center you specified when you scheduled your interview. Details on passport delivery are available on this webpage.