In January 2012, the Department of State introduced a two-year visa interview
waiver pilot program. This pilot program was one of the cornerstones of
President Obama's initiative to improve and speed up the visa process
for certain categories of travelers to the U.S.
This pilot program has now been made permanent, pursuant to
modifications made by the State Department to the 9 FAM 41.102 Notes.
According to new 9 FAM 41.102 Note 3.3a, consular officers can waive the
interview for applicants seeking to renew any nonimmigrant visa within
12 months of expiration of the initial visa in the same classification.
With the exception of E, H, L, P or R visas, interview waivers are also
available for nonimmigrant visa renewals up to 48 months after expiration
of the initial visa in the same classification. (New 9 FAM 41.102 Note 3.3b)
The State Department has also made permanent the pilot program permitting
interviews to be waived for certain
first time Brazilian visa applicants. To qualify, the applicant must be younger than
16 years or 66 years or older. (New 9 FAM 41.102 Note 3.4)
The modified 9 FAM 41.102 Notes were published yesterday.