Interview Waiver

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Overview

The U.S. visa application process is in many ways the same whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa.  It is important to know that your visa may still be valid if the passport itself is expired.  You can travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport, provided that your personal information including name remains unchanged.

Drop-off visa services (interview waiver) are available in order to facilitate the visa application process.  In most cases, using this service eliminates the need to come in for an interview.  Like an interview, however, the use of the drop-off service does not guarantee visa issuance.  Further, we may, in some cases, after reviewing an application submitted through the drop-off service, require a person to appear for an in-person interview.

Qualifications

You may be eligible to apply for a U.S. visa without an interview based on your age, or if you are renewing a prior U.S. visa that expired less than 12 months ago.

Qualification for Drop-off Service Based on Age:

  • Children under 14 years of age (applicants who have not reached their 14th birthday) applying for a visa other than F-1, and applicants age 80 or older (applicants who have reached their 80th birthday), may apply through the drop-off service. Please read the requirements listed below.  If you do not meet the requirements, you need to appear in person for an interview.
  • You must be a citizen or resident of Taiwan. If you are a Taiwan passport holder, your Taiwan passport must contain a personal ID number.  If you are a resident of Taiwan but are not holding a Taiwan passport, you must provide a photocopy of your Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) card or other evidence of Taiwan residence.
  • You must be physically present in Taiwan.
  • If you have previously applied for a U.S. visa, your most recent visa application was not refused.
  • You have never been found ineligible for a U.S. visa under Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. (Please note that a 212(a) visa ineligibility is different than a visa refusal under Section 214(b) or 221(g).  To learn more about visa ineligibilities, please refer to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/waivers.html)
  • You have never been denied an application in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
  • Children applying for an F-1 visa may not use the drop-off service and must schedule an appointment for a visa interview.
  • Please see below in Supporting Documentation to ensure the correct documents are included with the application. 

Qualification for Drop-off Service Based on Previous U.S. Visa:

  • You may also be eligible to apply through the drop-off service if you were previously issued a B (temporary visitor for business/pleasure), C-1 (transit), D (crew members), C1/D (transit/crew members), F(students/dependents), J (exchange visitors/dependents), M (non-academic students/dependents), H(temporary workers/dependents), L (intra-company transferees/dependents), or P(athletes/artists/entertainers/dependents) visa and you can provide the previous original visa. Please read the requirements listed below.  If you do not meet the requirements or if you are applying for a type of visa other than those listed above, you need to appear in person for an interview.
  • Your most recent visa application was not refused.
  • You have never been found ineligible for a U.S. visa under Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. (Please note that a 212(a) visa ineligibility is different than a visa refusal under Section 214(b) or 221(g).  To learn more about visa ineligibilities, please refer to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/waivers.html)
  • You have never been denied an application in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
  • The most recent visa you wish to renew was not lost or stolen.
  • You have not changed any of your biographical information (including name) since your most recent visa was issued.
  • Your prior visa must have been issued to you when you were age 14 or older, and your fingerprints must have been collected. (AIT began taking ten-finger fingerprints for visa applicants on November 7, 2007.)
  • You are physically present in Taiwan.
  • You must be a citizen or resident of Taiwan. If you are a Taiwan passport holder, your Taiwan passport must contain a personal ID number.  If you are a resident of Taiwan but do not hold a Taiwan passport, you must provide a photocopy of your Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) card or other evidence of Taiwan residence.
  • You must be applying for the exact same type of visa as your previous issuance. For example, you previously had a B visa and now wish to apply for another B visa. On the other hand, an H-1B visa holder applying for an L-1 visa, or an F-2 visa holder applying for an F-1 visa all would need to appear for an interview.
  • Your previous visa must be currently valid or must have expired within the last 12 months.
  • If you are a crewmember, you may renew a B1/B2 visa in conjunction with your C1/D visa renewal application by paying one application fee if both the B1/B2 visa and the C1/D visa are currently valid or expired no more than 12 months ago.
  • If you are renewing an F, M, or J visa, please verify with your school that your current SEVIS status is in Initial or Active status, and that, if required, you have paid the applicable SEVIS fee (fmjfee.com).
  • If you are renewing an F-1 or M-1 visa, you must plan to continue attending the same program or same institution in which you are already enrolled.
  • If you are renewing a J-1 visa, you must plan to continue in an exchange program in which you are already participating and the SEVIS number has not changed at the time of issuance from the previously issued visa.
  • If you are renewing an H, L, or P visa, your current petition number and your employer must be the same as the one listed on your previous visa. If you are applying with a different petition number or if you will be working for a different employer, you may not use the drop-off service and must schedule a visa interview.
  • If your visa is annotated “clearance received,” you may use the drop-off service only if you meet the following conditions:
    • For B-1, B-2, B-1/B-2 visas marked “clearance received,” the clearance date on the visa must be within the last 12 months
    • For F-1 or M-1 visas marked "clearance received," the clearance date listed on the visa must be within the last 48 months
    • For J-1 visas marked "clearance received," the clearance date on the visa must be within the last 24 months. 
    • For H, L, P visas marked "clearance received," the clearance date on the visa must be within the last 24 months. 
    • Note that if your visa is annotated “original clearance received,” then you are not eligible for drop-off visa services and must schedule an appointment for an interview.

Supporting Documentation

All applicants:

  • Your DS-160 confirmation page
  • One color photograph (5cmx5cm) taken within the last six months with a white or off-white background. Eyeglasses are not allowed in visa photos. This web page has information about the required photo format.
  • Visa application fee receipt.  If you are not holding a Taiwan passport, depending on your nationality and the visa category, you may also be required to pay a visa issuance (reciprocity) fee.  We will inform you if you need to pay the issuance fee or any additional fees.
    ( AIT strongly advises all customers to bring cash, as our system does not always accommodate credit card transactions. Thank you.)
  • A valid passport. Most visa applicants must have a passport valid for at least 6 months past the date of their anticipated departure from the United States.  Taiwan passport holders and passport holders from certain countries may enter the United States with passports that will expire in less than 6 months.  However, they will not be permitted to remain in the U.S. beyond the validity of their passports.
  • All your previous passports if any.  If you are applying for a visa renewal, you must also provide the passport containing the visa you are planning to renew.
  • If you have legally changed your name, please provide your Taiwan Household Registration Record (with detailed notes).
  • If you have been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, please provide the police record or court documents.  (If the original record was not written in English, please also provide an English translation.)  Please also provide a Taiwan Police Criminal Record Certificate regardless of where you were arrested or convicted.
  • If you have abandoned your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (or green card) or U.S. citizenship status, please provide proof of abandonment/ citizenship renunciation.

Specific applicants: 

  • Children under 14 years old:
    • A copy of Taiwan Household Registration Record (listing entire immediate family with detailed notes). 
    • A written description of the child’s intended purpose of U.S. travel that includes contact information for the U.S. inviter and a description of his or her relationship to the child.
    • Copies of the parents’ passport biographic information pages OR national ID cards.
    • Copies of the parents' current and/or previous U.S. visas, if available.
    • If traveling with a group, please also submit: the planned U.S. travel itinerary in English, together with a statement of the purpose of travel; a list of the group's travelers' names, dates of birth, and passport numbers; and a copy of the chaperone’s U.S. visa if available.
  • B visa applicants:
    • For business travelers: Please include a copy of the invitation letter, itinerary, and applicant’s resume with the application.
    • For B-1, B-2, B-1/B-2 visas annotated “clearance received,” the clearance date on the visa must be within the last 12 months and applicants must also provide documents listed here
  • C-1/D visa applicants:
    • A letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation and the business purpose, if any, of your U.S. trip.
  • F, M, and J visa holders:
    • A copy of your signed/endorsed I-20 or DS-2019.  If you have received a new DS-2019 since your most recent J visa was issued, please also provide the original copy of your new DS-2019.  J visa Trainees and Interns should also provide a copy of the DS-7002.
    • Official transcripts covering coursework at U.S. institutions.
    • Research/study plans with detailed information about your planned studies or research in the United States, including the name and e-mail address of your advising professor and/or the head of your department in the United States. Please click here for a sample research proposal/study plan.
    • A resume/CV that provides detailed information about your past academic and professional experience, including a complete list of all publications to which you have contributed. Please click here for a sample resume.
    • For F-1 or M-1 visas annotated “clearance received,” the clearance date on the visa must be within the last 48 months and applicants must also provide documents listed here
    • For J-1 visas annotated “clearance received,” the clearance date on the visa must be within the last 24 months and applicants must also provide documents listed here
  • H, L, and P applicants:
    • A copy of your approved I-129 petition or I-797 notice of action, or the receipt number listed on these forms.
    • A letter from your employer confirming your continued employment.
    • Dependent spouse or child should provide proof of their relationship to the principal applicant such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or household registration.
    • If the spouse or child must apply separately with the principal applicant at a later time, they should submit a copy of the principal applicant’s visa and the receipt number listed on the principal applicant’s approved I-129 petition or I-797 notice of action.
    • For H, L, P visas annotated “clearance received,” the clearance date on the visa must be within the last 24 months and applicants must also provide documents listed here.

Please review the requirements for your applicable visa category to determine other essential and recommended documentation. 

How To Apply

If you meet the requirements above, follow the steps below to create a profile and continue the application process.

Step 1: Choose your visa type

Check here for a list of all of the available visa types. Make sure you are familiar with the type of visa that is appropriate for your purpose of travel.  Be sure to also review the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  If you are a Taiwan passport holder, generally speaking, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are traveling for business or pleasure, meet all VWP criteria, and will only be staying in the United States for 90 days or less.

Step 2: Complete the DS-160 online application

Complete the online visa application.  Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully.  All information must be correct and accurate.

Step 3: Create your profile

Once you have completed the DS-160 application you will be able to create your profile in the online applicant system and choose your passport delivery method.  Once logged in, choose “New Application/Schedule appointment” on the left side.  As you go through the process you will answer the drop-off service questions which will evaluate your eligibility to apply for a visa without an interview. 

Step 4: Pay your visa application fee

After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to pay the visa application fee.  After your payment receipt is activated, you can go back to your online profile to continue the process.  For more information about paying your visa fee click here.  Depending on your individual circumstances, additional fees may be required.  We will inform you if you need to pay any additional fees.

Note: Certain applicants for diplomatic or official visas (for example, G visas), and exchange visitor (J) visa applicants participating in a program sponsored by the U.S. Federal Government do not need to pay the visa fee or log in.  These applicants can come directly to the first floor, Nonimmigrant Visa Unit, Window One, at 10:30 a.m. on any working day.  No advance appointment is needed.

Step 5: Gather your documents

If you are eligible to apply for a visa without an interview, the online applicant system will ask you to print out the “Interview Waiver Confirmation Checklist.”  Please complete and sign the checklist, and make sure that you have gathered all the supporting documents as listed above.  

Step 6: Drop off your application

You or your representative should take your signed checklist with your supporting documents to a designated document delivery location and drop them off for delivery to AIT.  You do not need to pay an additional fee for this delivery service.

Step 7: Receive your documents

You can check your visa application status using your DS-160 barcode.  At the end of the visa application process, the courier will return your documents and your passport(s) to you according to the document delivery option you have chosen in Step 3 (free Delivery Location Pickup or paid Premium Delivery Service).  If issued, your passport will contain your visa.  If your application is refused, the courier will deliver your passport and documents back to you along with a refusal letter.  Upon receipt of the refusal letter, please follow the instructions on the letter to schedule an appointment for your visa interview.

Average visa processing time is three business days once a consular officer decides to issue.  Please note that this three business-day processing time does not include the document delivery time which is one business day for delivery to AIT and another one business day for delivery back to you.    You can track the status of your passport delivery using your passport number or your UID number.

Please note: Submission of documents using drop-off service is only possible through Kerry Express Document Drop-off Location, not through Premium Delivery Service. Premium Delivery Service is only for the return of your documents. You can only use Kerry Express in case you are required to submit additional documents because of Administrative Processing.  If you choose Premium Delivery Service for the return of your passport, every documentation request or Pass-back will always go through this Premium Delivery and you will need to pay for every delivery.  You cannot switch to the free Kerry Pickup service after the day of your initial submission and any changes will not be taken into account.

Important Note: The use of the drop-off service does not guarantee visa issuance.  In some cases, applicants may still be required to appear for a visa interview at the American Institute in Taiwan.  Examples of this include incomplete and/or inaccurate applications.  The Consular Section will contact you or will refuse your application if more information or an interview is required for your application.  Please provide an accurate email address and your Taiwan phone number(s) on your DS-160 application form.