Due to the global challenges faced by the novel coronavirus, the country has decided to temporarily suspend routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. However, as the department allows, embassies will continue to provide emergency visa services.
The H-2 program is a national security priority of the United States and essential for the economy and food security of the state. However, the department aims to continue processing H-2 cases as permitted by post resources and local government restrictions.
In corporation with the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Pompeo has authorized consular officers to expand the categories of H-2 visa applicants whose applications can be refereed without an in-person interview. Consular officers can, if they so choose, now waive the visa interview requirement for first-time and returning H-2 applicants who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.
This expansion also increases the period in which returning workers may qualify for an interview waiver. Applicants whose previous visas expired in the last 48 months, and who did not require a waiver of ineligibility the last time they applied, do not need to be interviewed in-person if they are applying for the same visa classification as their previous visa.
During the coronavirus pandemic, consular resources and local government restrictions differ and each consular section is continuously reviewing its capacity to adjudicate visa applications during this worldwide pandemic. The state department encourages applicants to consult with the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate in order to confirm the level of services currently offered. The overseas undertakings will restart routine visa services as soon as possible but the provision of specific date can’t be guaranteed at this time.