In 2011, consular officers processed about 700,000 nonimmigrant visa applications, an increase of about 11% from the previous year. In its initiative to process visa applications expeditiously, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi released a press release (November 19, 2012) announcing the expansion of the Interview Waiver Program (IWP).
Under an expanded Interview Waiver Program the following visa categories will be covered:
- Business/Tourism (B1 and/or B2);
- Dependent (J2, H4, L2)
- Transit (C) and/or Crew Member (D) - including C1/D.
- Children applying before their 7th birthday traveling on any visa class
- Applicants applying on or after their 80th birthday traveling on any visa class
- Children applying before their 14th birthday traveling on any visa class
- Students returning to attend the same school and same program
- Temporary workers on H1-B visas
- Temporary workers on Individual L1-A or Individual L1-B visas
The press release also warns us that not all applications will be accepted for streamlined processing and that consular officers may interview any visa applicant in any category. Furthermore, applicants who are renewing their visas may still need to make a biometrics appointment and all applicants must submit all required fees and the DS-160 application form.