After announcing a "phased resumption of routine visa services" in the spring of 2020, the US Department of State issued a Visa Services Operating Status Update (November 2020, and updated in April 2021). Per this update, embassies and consulates that process nonimmigrant visas were prioritizing travelers with urgent needs, foreign diplomats, mission-critical categories of travelers, followed by some students, exchange visitors, and some temporary employment visas. On November 19, 2021, however, this prioritization guidance was rescinded, giving US embassies and consulates broad discretion to determine how to prioritize visa appointments, subject to local conditions and restrictions.
The US Department of State (DOS) has announced Expanded Interview Waivers for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants (December 23, 2021), stating that consular officers may continue to waive, in their discretion, the in-person interview requirement for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants, including students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists (F, M, and academic J visa applicants) through the end of 2022.
- Applicants must apply for a visa in their country of nationality or residence.
- Consular officers have discretion to waive the interview for F, M, and academic J visa applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or first-time F, M, and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in VWP and who have previously traveled to the United States via an ESTA authorization, provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.
Announcement of Processing Posts for Visa Applicants from Ukraine: Beginning immediately, Ukrainian immigrant visas (IVs) other than adoption cases will be processed at Consulate General Frankfurt, including Diversity Visa (DV) and Fianc(é)e (K-1) visas. The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw will process Ukrainian adoption cases as well as A and G diplomatic and official visas. Contact KyivIV@state.gov for questions about Ukrainian immigrant and fianc(é)e visa cases. Nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applications may be processed wherever a Ukrainian applicant is physically located and can schedule an appointment. Interested applicants should follow instructions on the respective Embassy website to apply for an NIV. Please find a list of Embassy websites here: https://www.usembassy.gov.