The Department of State (the Department) has waived, through December 31, 2021, the in-person interview requirement for F, M, and J visa applicants qualifying as secondary and university students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists (“academic J visa applicants”) who were previously issued any class of visa, subject to certain conditions.

The Department has also waived the in-person interview requirement for first-time F, M, and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating countries, subject to the same limitations described above.

The Department has also exempted from the requirement for collecting fingerprints, through the end of 2021, first-time F, M, and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of VWP participating countries who qualify for this proposed interview waiver.

The Department authorized waiving the visa interview requirement for nationals of all countries, except for the People’s Republic of China and Nigeria.

F, M, and academics J visa applicants that may benefit from the waiver are:

  • Applicants who were previously issued any class of visa and who have never been refused a visa, unless such refusal was overcome or a waiver of ineligibility has been obtained. For example, if an applicant was previously refused under INA section 214(b) but subsequently issued a visa, they would be considered having overcome the prior 214(b) refusal.
  • First-time and returning student applicants who are citizens or nationals of VWP participating countries and who have no derogatory or potentially derogatory information and no prior ESTA denials.

Important information for visa applicants: The U.S. Consulate General in Sydney has paused routine and emergency visa services. The U.S. Consulates General in Melbourne and Perth continue to provide visa services. Please review “INTERVIEW WAIVER EXPANSION” below to see if you qualify to Apply By Mail. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased, please read “VISA FEE VALIDITY EXTENSION” below. If you have urgent travel, please follow the guidance to Apply for an Expedited Appointment.



Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992,10143, and the Proclamation signed on April 30, 2021:

  • India (applicable to nonimmigrants only);
  • South Africa;
  • Brazil;
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe;
  • The Republic of Ireland;
  • The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland);
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran; and
  • The People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

There are certain exceptions to the suspension of entry, including exceptions for U.S. lawful permanent residents and certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, among other exceptions listed in the Proclamations. If you reside in, have traveled recently to, or intend to transit or travel to the above list of countries prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from the subject country(ries). Additionally, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or believe you may have been exposed to the Novel Coronavirus, you are strongly encouraged to postpone your appointment by at least 14 days. Click here for additional information.


On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation titled “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.” This proclamation ends the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 that had suspended entry into the United States of certain nationals, based on visa type, from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen. Click here for additional information.


Effective January 26, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States to present a negative COVID-19 test (a viral detection test for SARS-CoV- 2 approved or authorized by the relevant national authority), taken within 72 hours of departure. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers if they do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. This requirement is separate from the visa application process. All Presidential Proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19 remain in place, and continue to apply to subject potential travelers regardless of their test results or vaccination status. Travelers holding a National Interest Exception also remain subject to all applicable pre-departure testing requirements. For more information on waivers to the testing requirement please click here .


Secretary Blinken, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification. Previously, only those applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired within 24 months were eligible for an interview waiver. The Secretary has temporarily extended the expiration period to 48 months. This policy is in effect until December 31, 2021. This change will allow consular officers to continue processing certain nonimmigrant visa applications while limiting the number of applicants who must appear at a consular section, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to other applicants and consular staff. Travelers are encouraged to review the website of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for detailed information on what services are currently available as well as eligibility information and instructions on applying for a visa without an interview.


Effective January 19, 2021, the document delivery process for the return of passport/documents has changed. If you will be attending an interview on/after January 19, an Australia Post pre-paid satchel will be required as part of your additional documentation on your interview day. If you are approved an interview waiver after January 15, you will be required to submit your application via your own Australia Post pre-paid satchel.


The U.S. Mission to Australia understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. For receipts valid on or after March 18, 2020 or purchased between March 18, 2020 and January 11, 2021, the U.S. Mission extended the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, 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. Fees paid on or after January 11, 2021 are valid for one (1) year from their date of purchase.


President Biden rescinded Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10014, entitled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” on February 24, 2021. Immigrant visa applicants who had been affected by this proclamation should review the instructions here.


Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 10052 may reapply by submitting a new application including a new fee.


Due to the current COVID-19 situation in Australia, we recommend that you refer to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to see if there are travel restrictions that may affect your attendance at an interview. This may include border closures and/or 14-day isolation. You should contact the Consulate if this affects you and you need to reschedule your interview.


Entry of aliens who were present in China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days prior to their arrival at port of entry in the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamation. If you reside in China, have travelled to China recently or intend to travel to China prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your via interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from China.


You are reminded to apply for your U.S. visa interview well in advance of your traveling plans. You should never pay for travel arrangements (e.g., airfare, hotels) without having a visa in your possession. The U.S. Consulate General accepts no responsibility if you do so. You risk significant financial losses if you ignore this advice. Appointment dates and time slots are released by the U.S. Consulate at its sole discretion, depending on the visa types and other criteria. Call center agents may not be able to assist you in getting an earlier appointment, when you contact them by telephone or by email. Please be sure to review the Apply By Mail option as we find many applicants do not require an interview. Consulate General Perth prioritizes regular and emergency appointment requests from residents of Western Australia (WA). Requests from applicants applying from outside of WA are accommodated on a space available basis.


Applicants must use Microsoft Explorer or Google Chrome to fill out their application. You will not be able to make payment or schedule your appointment if you are using Safari or Firefox.


Before arriving at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, please review the security regulations posted on this site.  Please be aware that you will not be allowed to enter the Consulate or Embassy with battery-operated or electronic devices.  Persons arriving with these devices will be refused entry and risk having their appointments cancelled.  Please be aware that neither the consulates nor embassy can store electronic devices.  Please plan to leave electronic devices at home or store them off-site before arriving for your appointment.


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Welcome to the U.S. Visa Information Service for Australia. On this website you can find information about U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and the requirements to apply for each. You can also learn how to pay the required visa application fee, and book an interview appointment at the U.S. Consulates General in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

This is the official visa information website of the U.S. Mission in Australia.