International students may be awarded a US student visa without an interview

The US Department of State has announced that consular officers may waive in-person interview requirements for F-1 and M-1 student visas and student streams of the J-1 visa under certain conditions, particularly in visa waiver countries, for the remainder of 2021.

In a statement, the government confirmed that consular officers may, if they choose, adjudicate F, M and J student visas without an in-person interview for applicants who:

  • were not denied a visa previously
  • have “no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility”
  • are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Currently, 39 countries are participants in the US Visa Waiver Program: United Kingdom, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

The Department of State said full details of eligibility and necessary procedures will be available on the websites of the relevant embassies or consulates.


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