Until recently, if you wished to obtain a non-immigrant visa to enter the United States, an in-person interview was required for both first-time applicants and those who were renewing their visa. However, in January 2012, the U.S. consulates and embassies implemented a pilot program in order to improve and expedite the visa process for specific categories of travelers.
Under the new program, individuals who complied with certain requirements were able to renew their visas without being interviewed. As of January 2014, the pilot program has become permanent.
Prior to the introduction of this program, there was a visa screening process in place that was developed after 9/11 and that required many biographic and biometric checks. Under the new measure, in specific circumstances, certain foreign visitors who were previously interviewed and screened as part of their initial application may have the opportunity to renew their visas without being interviewed a second time.
As a result of the new initiative, such applicants will realize a savings in both time and money, and will likely revisit the U.S. In addition, a greater number of first-time applicants will be able to be interviewed.
The program will benefit:
In certain situations, applicants may be granted renewal of their visa up to 48 months after expiration of their visa if the applicants are in a visa class that is not E, H, L, P, or R. The applicants must comply with the afore-mentioned requirements.
Last Modified: 05-14-2014 11:59 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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