In order to attract more tourists from India, the State Department announced an Interview Waiver Program for foreign visitors who were interviewed and thoroughly screened in conjunction with a prior visa application.
“US Department of State has implemented a program that will allow certain applicants to apply for visas without being interviewed in person at a US consular office,” US Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell said, according to Thaindian News.
Under the Interview Waiver Programme, it will become easier for Indians to visit the United States for tourism and business trips.
In order to be eligible, applicants must:
- have a previous US visa in the same category as the visa category for which he or she wishes to renew;
- have their previous visa issued in India;
- have no refusals for a visa in any category after his or her most recent visa issuance.
Consular officers will retain the authority to interview any applicant who they determine requires a personal appearance.
“Travel and tourism to the US is an important way for us to expand our cultural and commercial ties and increase trade growth between our countries. Total spending by Indians travelling to the US was $4.6 billion last year, up 15 percent from the year before,” she added.