Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) has implemented a Temporary Final Rule (“TFR”) providing flexibility for consular officers to waive the personal appearance of certain repeat immigrant visa applicants who were approved for an immigrant visa in the same classification and on the same basis as the current application on or after August 4, 2019.  The TFR also gives consular officers discretion to allow such applicants to affirm the accuracy of the contents of their visa application (DS-260) without appearing in person before a consular officer.

This TFR is effective as of December 13, 2021 and expires after 24 months, or if DOS concludes that the TFR is no longer necessary if the pandemic becomes less acute and ordinary travel resumes.

This waiver of the requirement for immigrant visa applicants to appear in person is discretionary.  Applicants eligible for a discretionary waiver of a personal appearance and interview pursuant to this TFR must be seeking an immigrant visa in the same classification (or another classification as the result of automatic conversion due to the death or naturalization of the petitioner of the previously issued immigrant visa) and pursuant to the same approved petition as their previously approved application, and they must continue to qualify for the immigrant visa.  The consular officer may communicate with the applicant by telephone or email, may request that the applicant provide additional information that the consular officer deems necessary, and may still request the applicant to appear in person.

Pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, except as may otherwise be established by regulation, every immigrant visa application must be signed by the applicant in the presence of the consular officer and verified by the oath of the applicant before the consular officer.  Regulations further require immigrant visa applicants to be interviewed by a consular officer.  This TFR provides an exception to these personal appearance and interview requirements.

If you were approved for an immigrant visa after August 4, 2019 but it was not issued or it has expired, you may now be eligible to receive your immigrant visa without appearing in person before a consular officer.  Contact one of our lawyers to discuss whether you qualify.

For more information, contact us at info@enterimmi.com and speak with a U.S. immigration lawyer in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Taipei.

Copyright 2021. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the Enterline Immigration only.