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Temporary consular rules for personal appearances

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | Immigration

Consular processing is for immigrants obtaining a visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate. A person needs a face-to-face interview with an officer in the foreign national’s home region or country. However, there have been changes to consular officer interviews in California.

Temporary Final Rule details

During the consular processing, consular officers can waive interview and personal appearance requirements under the new Temporary Final Rule. The Temporary Final Rule allows particular immigrant visa applicants to skip other in-person appearances. All applicants may need to have an in-person interview, application execution and oath.


A consular officer can waive extra in-person interviews for applicants who meet all the criteria. There are three things the consular officers look at during the consular process. The new Temporary Final Rule only applies to immigrant visas issued on or after Aug. 4, 2019. The person can’t have already traveled to the U.S. for an immigrant visa. The applicant needs to seek an immigrant visa in the same classification as the expired one. Some automatic category conversions need the same approved petition.

Applicants who qualify

If an applicant qualifies for the Temporary Final Rule, they should contact the consular officer who approved their prior visa. The officer at the consulate or the U.S. embassy can help with the applicant’s eligibility. There are several things an immigrant visa applicant may need to provide. Some applicants may need to submit a new DS-260 application, submit medical exams, provide updated documents and pay any processing fees. The Temporary Final Rule expires on Dec. 13, 2023.

Under consular processing rules, all immigrant visa applicants need an in-person interview. The offices are either at the consulate or the American embassy of the applicant’s home region. The new Temporary Final Rule allows a consular officer to waive the in-person interviews, but even with the correct criteria, an immigrant may still need an in-person interview.