Kingston Interview Waiver Program
Interview Waiver Program for Nonimmigrant Visas
U.S. Embassy Kingston’s Interview Waiver Program (KIWP) allows certain individuals who are renewing their visas to forego the visa interview. Generally, most applicants who qualify for this program will still have to come to the embassy to submit their passport and be fingerprinted, but may not have to wait to be interviewed by a consular officer. Please note, a percentage of random interviews will be conducted of KIWP applicants. You likely qualify for this program if you are renewing a full validity visa that has expired within the last 48 months. Please read all the information below to determine whether you qualify for the program. Applicants arriving for visa renewal appointments who in fact do not qualify will not be allowed to submit their application and will have to reschedule themselves for a regular visa interview.
Appointments can be scheduled online or by calling 876-632-7400.
To qualify for the renewal program, ALL of the following conditions must be met:
- You are a resident of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, or Guantanamo Bay. (Note that you need not be a Jamaican citizen if you are a resident in one of these 3 places.)
- You are renewing the same class of visa (for example: B1/B2, C1/D, etc.).
- The prior visa was issued for its full validity.
- You were not refused any class of via since the visa you are renewing was issued.
- Your previous Visitor (B1/B2) or Crew (C1/D) visa expired within 48 months prior to the scheduled renewal appointment.
- You do not have any immigration violations or criminal offenses. (Note that if a consular officer becomes aware of any such incidents, you will be required to come in for an interview.)
- You must be able to submit the passport containing the prior visa as well as any subsequently issued passports. The passport in which the renewed visa will be placed must be of the same nationality as the passport containing the expired visa.
2. Eligible Visa Categories
The following visa categories are currently eligible for the program, if all the above conditions are met. You will also find listed the documents you will be required to submit along with your application and passport (valid for at least six more months):
Visitor (B1,B1/B2, B2) if the previous visa was a full-validity visa. (This is 10 years for Jamaican and Cayman Island nationals. It may be shorter for other nationalities.)
- Application only
Members of a Crew (D, C1/D) if the previous visa was a full-validity visa (This is 5 years for Jamaican and Cayman Island nationals).
- A letter from employer on letter head stationary confirming employment with the company and the period of time in the United States
Student visas (F1, M1) if the student is in status with SEVIS and continuing in the same program or at the same institution.
Employment-based H (H1B, H2B) if the applicant has a valid petition.
The following visa categories currently are not eligible for the program:
- Treaty Trader Visa (E1) / Treaty Investor Visa (E2)
- Employment-based J visa
- Employment-based L visas (Blanket Petitions)
- Performers (O and P)
- Temporary Worker (R)
3. Further Considerations:
The consular section will request that the applicant return to the Embassy for an interview if:
- the information in the application is incomplete.
- there are questions about an applicant’s previous use of a visa or future intent.
- a consular officer becomes aware of any immigration violations or criminal offenses.
- Unqualified individuals who attempt to participate in the KIWP will be turned away and will be required to make a new appointment by phone or online. No emergency appointments will be granted to such individuals. Applicants are strongly urged to review the program requirements to ensure their eligibility.
- Applicants applying together in groups, such as families, must ensure that everyone in that group qualifies for the interview waiver program, including children. For example, a young child who has never had a visa would not qualify.
- Like with regular visa appointments, qualified Cayman Island residents who choose to participate in the KIWP must plan to stay in Kingston for a minimum of two business days after their appointments if they wish to pick up their passports before returning home. Otherwise, Cayman applicants who return home immediately following their appointment will have to return their newest passport to the embassy via DHL courier at their own cost.
- Individuals renewing a full-validity visa issued in September 2007 or later may be eligible to forego both the fingerprinting and the personal interview. This is because U.S. Consulates began requiring fingerprints for visa applicants at that time, meaning that applicants renewing visas issued since then would have already been fingerprinted. Applicants that qualify may submit their visa applications and passports via DHL courier. Note that since the full validity period for B1/B2 visitor visas issued to Jamaican citizens is 10 years, we do not expect to see renewals of this visa class via courier before September 2017.