Visa applicants who meet the criteria below may be eligible to apply for their visas by mail, without a visa interview, if:
- They normally reside in Canada; and
- They are physically present in Canada; and
- Their visa and passport has not been lost, stolen, or revoked; and
- They fit into one of the following categories:
- Renewals in the Same Category: They already have a U.S. visa that is valid or has expired within the last 48 months and wish to renew their visa of the same classification (e.g. a holder of a recently expired J visa may NOT renew and get a B1/B2 visa) or
- F, M, or Academic J Visas: They are applying for an F, M, or Academic J visa and have previously been issued any type of visa; or
- Individual Petition-Based H, O, P, and Q Visas: They are applying for an H-1, H-3, H-4, O, P, or Q visa and have previously been issued any type of visa. Applicants for L visas are not eligible for interview waiver under this category.
When you register for a visa appointment and pay the fee, the online appointment system will determine if you qualify for Interview Waiver. If qualified, the system will provide instructions on how to submit your passport, application, and related documents via courier to your closest Consular Section. Eligible applicants must submit a copy of their valid status in Canada (permanent resident card, work authorization, or student permit) and may be required to pay a reciprocity fee (in addition to the standard visa fee) later in the process. If you qualify for Interview Waiver and your application requires an additional fee, the Consular Section will reach out with additional information on payment methods.
Interview Waiver processing takes approximately four to six weeks from the time the application arrives in the Consular Section. Processing times vary and may exceed this timeframe due to staffing and incoming workload. Please plan accordingly. While the Consular Section is processing your Interview Waiver application you will not have access to your passport and will not be able to engage in international travel. The Consular Section will only return passports in the event of a life-threatening emergency. If you request your passport for a life-threatening emergency, the Consular Section will not issue your visa prior to returning your passport. If you request return of your passport prior to the completion of Interview Waiver processing, the Consular Section will not issue your visa prior to returning your passport. Following your emergency travel, you may continue with your visa application by scheduling an in-person appointment. Visa appointment wait times in Canada currently exceed one year in most visa classifications.
Prior to completion of visa processing, your U.S. visa application status will appear as “No Status” when you perform an online check at https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC. The Consular Section will not respond to any email inquiries about your Interview Waiver case status.
All Interview Waiver applications must meet the above criteria. Submission of Interview Waiver applications that do not meet the above criteria will result in additional delays as Consular Sections return unqualified applications and inform the applicant to schedule an appointment.