U.S. Embassy Announces Expanded Interview Waivers for Pakistani Visa Renewals

The United States has stated that they will be expanding the interview waiver eligibility for those Pakistani citizens renewing their B1/B2 business or tourism visas. Those Pakistani citizens that are 60 years of age or older who have B1/B2 visas that are valid or have expired sometime in the last 48 months are eligible for this waiver. The waiver is intended to improve customer service and create a more efficient system for processing business or tourism visas for those citizens who are eligible and qualify for the waiver. Additionally, this waiver has been extended indefinitely.

Applicants who were potentially eligible and had already scheduled an appointment were notified of their option to use the new procedure in submitting their applications.

These applicants have been told to create a profile and then fill out their applications. After this, the applicants should print two copies of their interview waiver confirmation letter and submit one of the copies to any of the ten document delivery centers if they meet the necessary qualifications.

The applicants should apply to renew their United States visa from whichever embassy or consulate issued their previous visa. Any other requirements, rules, or fees are the same.

However, it is important to remember that some eligible applicants may still need to participate in an in-person interview. This will be decided by US consulates and embassies on a case-by-case basis and depending on local conditions. Those who want more information should check the consulate and embassy websites.

For anyone who has paid their fee but have not yet been able to schedule an appointment, the US embassy website stated, “The US Mission to Pakistan understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that the US Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2023, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.”

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant reductions in visa processing capacity. Therefore, these temporary steps were taken to improve safety and reduce the wait time for visas while maintaining national security.

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