Sometimes, the US consulate allows visa applicants to skip the interview process (Interview Waiver) and mail in their documents instead to obtain a US visa.

Each country may have separate requirements to qualify for this interview waiver, therefore, it is important to check the official US Department of State website for up-to-date information.

If you are applying for the first time and looking for the steps, I have written an extensive article about how to do so, which you will find here. It is also worth reading if you’re renewing your visa as some steps, like filling out the DS-160 form, are the same when using the interview waiver option to renew your visa.

Who is Eligible for a US Interview Waiver?

Generally, to qualify for the interview waiver, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your previous non-immigrant visa was approved
  • You are applying within 48 months of your most recent nonimmigrant visa’s expiration date or 3 months before the expiration date. I applied 10 days before my visa was set to expire.
  • You must apply in your country of nationality or residence.

In addition, the USTravelDocs website has listed other requirements for Nigerians to qualify for the interview waiver. You can find them linked above.

Swimming in Kintla Lake

I’ll also add that I could not use this Dropbox option two years ago when I applied because my location was different; i.e. I got my previous visa in Nigeria and I was trying to renew it in Kenya. I had to attend an interview appointment – which took over a year to obtain.

US Visa Interview Waiver Processing Time?

Luckily, Dropbox and interview waiver applications do not typically take that long but please note that processing times will vary. In Nairobi, my application took 2 days to process and I received my passport 3 working days after I submitted it at the drop-off location.

I did not need to make any appointments to drop off the documents, however, in several locations, including, Lagos, you would need to schedule one.

Note that processing times may be longer for locations with high application volumes. You can check the estimated processing time for your location via this address.

US visa interview waiver Lincoln Memorial DC

Also, note that the embassy will retain your passport until they have decided on your visa. This could take up to 8 weeks, so plan accordingly. In some cases, depending on your travel schedule, it might make more sense to hold on to your passport and schedule an in-person interview instead.

US Visa Interview Waiver – How To Renew Your Visa via Dropbox

When applying for a US visa, you need to fill out a DS-160 form to start the Dropbox process. Depending on your location, you will be redirected to the appropriate site to pay your visa fees, schedule your drop-off if necessary, and receive your passport after processing.

Applying for a United States Visa in Nigeria
For Dropbox applications, Step 06 is not necessary unless the embassy requests one

US Visa Interview Waiver – Documents Needed

You are required to submit only the required documents for your US visa renewal and these include:

  • Your current passport with 6 months validity
  • Your passport containing the most recently issued U.S. visa
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Confirmation and Instructions page
  • One 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches) colour photo taken within the last 6 months
  • Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present a
    marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certificate (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.

How To Track US Visa Interview Waiver Status Online

You can track the status of your application via this site. The status stages include No Status, Application Received, Approved/Refused, and Issued. The embassy may request an interview or additional documents; you will be notified if this happens.

The North Fork Hostel

That’s all folks! Let me know if you have renewed your US visa via the Interview Waiver program and how long the process took. Also, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you!

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