The US embassy in Dhaka started accepting interview-waiver applications for B1/B2 - tourism, business, and medical - visas from Sunday along with a number of nonimmigrant visa categories (C, C1/D, F, I, J, M, O, and Q).
A press release from the embassy on Monday said the processing time could be lengthy – as long as six weeks – amid the COVID-19 pandemic and recommended everyone to submit applications well ahead of their proposed travel dates.
It said the embassy cannot yet accept new visa applications for any nonimmigrant visa categories, including F1 (students) and F2 (spouses/children of students).
The embassy said they are only accepting interview-waiver applications for continuing students who want to renew their student visas for the same field of study at the same institution.
Applications for continuing F2 spouses and their children under the age of 21 are also being accepted.
The eligibility for interview-waiver renewal of nonimmigrant visas was extended to 24 months due to the pandemic. This change will be in effect through 31 December this year.
After the embassy receives an application, the reviewing consular officer may determine that the applicant will require an in-person interview. These applicants will have to schedule an interview when regular in-person visa services resume.
Until the embassy’s regular visa services resume, the application fee (MRV) will remain valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment there until 31 December 2021.
“We continue to offer emergency visa services for applicants with life or death emergencies," the embassy said.