Applying for a Visa without an Interview

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Overview

The U.S. visa application process is in many ways the same whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa. It is important to know that your visa may still be valid if the passport it is in expires. You can travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport.

Interview waiver is available in order to expedite the visa application process. In most cases, using this service eliminates the need to come in for an interview. Like an interview, however, the use of the interview waiver does not guarantee visa issuance. Further, we may, in some cases, after reviewing an application submitted through interview waiver, require a person to appear for an in-person interview.

Qualifications

You may be eligible to apply for a U.S. visa without an interview based on your age, or if you are renewing a prior U.S. visa that is still valid or expired less than 12 months ago. However, if your previous passport contains a valid or expired U.S. visa has been stolen or lost, you may not use interview waiver.

Qualification for interview waiver based on age:

  • Children under 14 years of age, and applicants aged 80 or older, may apply through interview waiver if they have not been previously found ineligible for their most recent U.S. visa. Please see below in “Supporting Documentation" to ensure the correct documents are included with the application.
  • These applicants must be a citizen or resident of China.
  • These applicants must be physically present in China.

Qualification for interview waiver based on previous U.S. visa and past U.S. travel:

  • You may also be eligible to apply through interview waiver if you were previously issued a U.S. visa and you can provide the previous original U.S. visa. If your previous visa was issued in a Diplomatic Passport, Service Passport or Passport for Public Affairs, you may provide a photocopy of the passport and visa if you are unable to obtain the official passport with original visa.  Please note that this policy ONLY applies to Chinese citizens who are renewing their visa with a personal passport and the previous visa was in the official passport issued by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or Foreign Affairs Office (FAO).  If you are renewing a visa with your official passport this time, please submit your application via the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or Foreign Affairs Office (FAO). 
  • Your prior visa must have been issued to you when you were age 14 or older, and your fingerprints must have been collected.
  •  No ineligibility was found in your most recent visa application, and you must include your most recent original visa in your application.
  • You must be a citizen or resident of China.
  • You must be physically present in China.
  • You must be applying for the exact same type of visa. For example, you had a B visa and wish to apply for another B visa.
  • If you have two past visas in your passport, then you can apply for interview waiver for one of those two (the first one, or the second most recent one), as long as the one you are renewing is currently valid or has expired within the last 12 months.
  • You may not use interview waiver if you are applying for an I visa (journalist and media visa), P-3 visa (entertainment/performance visa), or H-2A (seasonal agricultural workers), H-2B (skilled and unskilled workers) and H-3 (trainee) visa, and L visa (intra-company transferee).
  • To be eligible for interview waiver, F-1 visa applicants must plan to continue attending the U.S. school or institution in which they are already enrolled, and J-1 visa applicants must plan to continue an exchange program in which they are already participating. H-1B visa applicants must plan to return to the same employer as in their previous application
  • If your visa is marked “clearance received”, you may not use interview waiver unless you are renewing a B, F, J or H visa.
    • For B visas marked “clearance received,” the clearance date listed on the visa must be within the last 12 months.
    • For F, J or H visas marked “clearance received,” the clearance date listed on the visa must be within the last 24 months.

Supporting Documentation

Note: Every applicant is required to submit a complete set of documents. Failure to include correct supporting documents in visa applications may cause delays in visa processing, or result in applicants being required to appear for an in-person interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Required for all applicants:

  • Passport: Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  • The DS-160 application form confirmation page.
  • One Photograph: Two inches square (51mm x 51mm) color passport/digital photograph, less than 6 months old, against a white background, full frontal view, without eyeglasses. Detailed guidelines for taking and submitting a quality photograph are on the U.S. Department of State website here. Your application will be refused if your photograph does not meet the requirements.
  • The Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter with applicant’s signature.
Specific Applicants:

Children under 14 years old (Reminder: Each child is required to submit a complete set of documents. )

Joining group travel, including summer and winter camp

  • A copy of the child's birth certificate. If applicant’s biography information (such as name, date of birth) in passport is different from birth certificate, application must include proof of name or date of birth change issued by a government agency.
  • Copies of the parents’ national ID cards and/or passport biographic pages.
  • Copies of the parents' current and/or previous U.S. visas, if available.
  • A detailed description of the child’s intended purpose of U.S. travel in English that includes contact information for the U.S. inviter and a description of his / her relationship to the child.
  • The planned U.S. travel itinerary in English. A list of the group's travelers' names, dates of birth, and passport numbers. A copy of the chaperone’s U.S. visa if available or the chaperone’s interview appointment information.

Children traveling with other Relatives/Chaperones:

  • A copy of the child's birth certificate. If applicant’s biography information (such as name, date of birth) in passport is different from birth certificate, application must include proof of name or date of birth change issued by a government agency.
  • Copies of parents’ national ID cards and/or passport biographic pages.
  • Copies of the parents' current and/or previous U.S. visas, if available.
  • A detailed description of applicant’s intended purpose of travel in English that includes contact information for the U.S inviter and a description of his/her relationship to the child.
  • The planned U.S travel itinerary in English.
  • A certificate or description of the relationship between the relative/chaperone and the child.
  • A copy of the relative or chaperone’s U.S visa if available, or their interview appointment information.

Please note, if a parent or parents are applying in-person for a visa at the U.S Embassy or Consulate General, not through interview waiver, the parent(s) may book an appointment in the child’s name and drop off the child's application at the time of their own interview. An adult applicant may bring no more than five minor applications with them to their interview; if there are more than five minors in the group, those applications must be submitted through interview waiver.

F-1 and J-1 visa holders:

  • An original I-20, signed by the school official within one year (F visa).
  • An original DS-2019 (J visa).
  • Research/study plans with detailed information about your planned studies or research in the United States, including the name and e-mail address of your advising professor and/or the head of your department in the United States. Please click here for a sample research proposal/study plan.
  • A resume/CV that provides detailed information about your past academic and professional experience, including a complete list of all publications to which you have contributed. Please click here for a sample resume.
  • Official transcripts covering coursework at U.S. institutions.
  • An advisor’s biography, CV, or webpage printout (for graduate students who have already been assigned an advising professor at their U.S. institution).

Business travelers: A copy of the invitation letter, itinerary, and applicant’s resume with the application. All documents must be in English.

C-1/D applicants: Provide a current joining letter (original copy preferred) and photocopies of the following documents:

  • If you have a Chinese Seafarer’s Passport, copies of pages 1 (biography page and observations) and 32 (amendments).
  • If you have a Chinese Seafarer’s Identity Document, copies of pages 1-3 (biography page and observations) and all used pages from beginning to present.

Please review the requirements for your applicable visa category to determine other essential and recommended documentation.

How To Apply

If you meet the requirements above, follow the steps below to create a profile and continue the application process.

Step 1
Complete and submit the non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. (You are required to upload a photograph taken within the last six months as a part of the DS-160 process. Detailed guidelines for taking and submitting a quality photograph are on the U.S. Department of State website here.) After submit your DS-160 application form, print out the confirmation page.

Step 2
Log-in to our online application system and create a profile to pay the visa application (MRV) fee. Once logged in, choose “Schedule appointment”. As you go through the process you will answer the interview waiver questions which will evaluate your eligibility to apply for a visa without an interview.

Step 3
After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to pay the visa fee. If you are eligible to apply for a visa without an interview, you will print out the “Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter” which you will include with your visa application to be submitted. Please read the document checklist in the Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter carefully and signed to confirm. Fail to include correct supporting documents in visa application may cause delay in visa processing, or applicant may be required to appear for an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates. 

Step 4
Gather your DS-160 confirmation page, Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter, current and previous passports, photo, and all other required documents as listed in the “Supporting Documents” part. Depending on the visa category, you may be required for additional documentation and a reciprocity fee. Please refer to your specific visa category page for additional required documents.

Step 5
Go to one of the CITIC Bank locations specified here. Take your Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter and all documents required with a mailing envelope to enclose your documents. A receipt with the tracking number will be given to you. There is no charge for this service.

Note: Please do not submit any documentation in a sealed envelope as this will be rejected by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. If you use an envelope to submit documents, it must remain open at all times.

Step 6
CITIC Bank will deliver your documents to the U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou.

Step 7
At the end of the visa adjudication process, the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou will return your documents and your passport to you according to the document delivery option you have chosen (free CITIC Pick up or paid Premium Delivery Service). When the documents are dispatched, your passport status will be updated and you will receive an email with the tracking number. If issued, your passport will contain your visa.
Please note: Submission of documents using interview waiver is only possible through CITIC, not through Premium Delivery Service. Premium Delivery Service is only for the return of your passports and documents. You can only use CITIC in case you are required to submit additional documents because of Administrative Processing. If you choose Premium Delivery Service for the return of your passport, every documentation request or Pass-back will always go through this Premium Delivery and you will need to pay for every delivery. You cannot switch to the free CITIC Pickup service after the day of your initial submission and any changes will not be taken into account.

Important Note: The use of the interview waiver service does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, applicants may still be required to appear for an in-person visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates.