The Department of State published an interim final rule on July 7, 2003, amending 22 CFR 41.102 to reduce the number of situations in which the interview of a nonimmigrant visa applicant may be waived. The rule is effective August 1, 2003. [68 Fed. Reg. 40127 (July 7, 2003)]

This rule change had been announced in a May 21, 2003 DOS cable (AMDOC# 200305008). The Code of Federal Regulations now conforms to the policy guidance in that cable.

Under the new rule, a consular officer may waive the requirement of personal appearance in the case of any alien who the consular officer concludes presents no national security concerns and who:

(1) Is a child 16 years of age or under;
(2) Is a person 60 years of age or older;
(3) Is within a nonimmigrant class under the visa symbols A, C-2, C-3, G, or NATO and who is seeking a visa in such classification;
(4) Is an applicant for a diplomatic or official visa as described in §§ 41.26 and 41.27 of Title 22;
(5) Is an applicant who within 12 months of the expiration of the applicant’s previously issued visa is seeking re-issuance of a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification at the consular post of the applicant’s usual residence, and for whom the consular officer has no indication of visa ineligibility or noncompliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations; or
(6) Is an alien for whom a waiver of personal appearance is warranted in the national interest or because of unusual circumstances, as determined by the consular officer. AMDOC#: 200307002