On September 15, CGS and 14 organizations sent a letter thanking the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs for the efforts made to ensure efficient visa processing during the COVID-19 pandemic and urging them to make these policies and processes permanent.
The organizations write on the letter, “We urge you to permanently maximize alternatives to in-person visa interviews by providing waivers, virtual interviews, extension of visa eligibility waivers, and all other practicable options. We appreciate the policy guidance to avoid duplicative in-person interview screening of visa applicants who have already been vetted and received a visa to travel to the United States in the past. This wise use of limited resources both protects our security and reduces backlogs. We expect that there are now sufficient data to demonstrate the effectiveness of this policy, and we urge you to make permanent the visa interview waiver process in regulation in order to reduce future uncertainty or confusion.”