The US visa interview waiverWednesday, October 20, 2021
Q: I've had a non-immigrant B1/B2 visa in the past, but it is expired. Is it possible to get a visa without having to wait many months for an in-person appointment?
A: Yes, absolutely! You may be eligible for the Interview Waiver Programme (IWP), meaning you can renew without having to come to the embassy at all. The non-immigrant visa unit is able to renew visas for individuals who were previously issued a full-validity B1/B2 visa which is either a) still valid or b) has expired within the past four years.
In addition, the previous visa must have been issued in Jamaica, and the applicant should be a national or resident of Jamaica or the Cayman Islands. People meeting these criteria do not require an in-person requirement. Individuals older than 79 years of age or younger than 14 years of age can qualify as interview exempt, meaning no in-person interview is required for them either. Individuals whose last visa application resulted in denial do not qualify for interview waiver or interview exempt status.
Q: Great, now how do I know if I'm eligible, and how do I apply for the Interview Waiver?
A: Here is a breakdown for you and some resources to assist.
During the application process you will be asked to respond to a series of questions to determine if you qualify for interview waiver processing. While answering those questions you should have your previous visa in hand to:
* Check if you have previously been issued a full-validity B1/B2 visa. For Jamaicans and Caymanians, full-validity means a 10-year visa.
* Check the date the visa expired. Currently we are accepting visas for renewal that have expired within the last 48 months, or four years.
If both of these apply to you, you should be eligible for the interview waiver. Please note that C1/D visa holders may also qualify for the IWP if they meet the full-validity and expiration guidelines. A full validity C1/D visa is five years.
You can complete and submit a visa application at the following website: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC. For detailed instructions on the application process as well as how to schedule a visa appointment, please visit the following site: https://usvisa-info.com. Please fill out your visa application truthfully and completely.
If you qualify for a waiver of in-person interview, the website will direct you to register for courier service. The courier will deliver your passport to the embassy for processing and will then be returned to you. Processing times may vary, so please send your passports early if you have upcoming travel. Please remember that you must be applying for the same visa class as previously issued and you must not have any immigration violations or criminal offences.
Q: I have not been able to schedule an interview for a visa this calendar year. Is my MRV fee still valid?
A: The US Mission to Jamaica understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. While we are trying to restore visa operations to the extent possible in the current pandemic climate, we are unable to provide a date for when we can fully resume non-immigrant visa services. In the meantime, the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) has been extended until September 30, 2022.
This will allow visa applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor our communications via our embassy website and social media for updates on our routine visa operations.