The United States Mission in Pakistan on Thursday announced the expansion of interview waiver eligibility at the American embassy in Islamabad and the US Consulate General in Karachi for Pakistani citizens who are renewing B1/B2 tourist and business visas.
According to a statement issued by the US Embassy and consulates, “All Pakistani citizens, regardless of age, whose B1/B2 visas are valid or have expired within the last 48 months are eligible to participate.”
Previously, only Pakistani citizens of ages 45 and older were eligible to participate. Additionally, interview waiver eligibility for student and petition-based work visa applicants who have previously held a US visa is also extended through 2023.
The expansion of interview waiver eligibility is a procedural change to provide better customer service and more efficiently process renewals of tourist and business visas for qualified and eligible Pakistani citizens, read the statement.
As required by US law, some eligible visa holders may be required to appear at the US Embassy or the Consulate General for interviews after submission of their applications.
Responding, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the facility of interview waiver for Pakistani nationals across all age groups was extremely helpful.
“This should speed up visa process and will increase people-to-people ties,” the foreign minister said in a meeting with US Ambassador in Islamabad Donald Blome who called on him here.
“Allowing interview waivers for those who have already in the past held US visas across all age groups is extremely helpful. This should speed up visa process and will increase people-to-people ties,” he wrote on Twitter.
The foreign minister thanked the United States for announcing an additional $100 million at Geneva conference for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood-hit areas of Pakistan.
Bilawal told the ambassador that he had discussed in detail with the US Secretary of State the visa facilities for Pakistani citizens.
The US ambassador reiterated his country’s resolve to keep extending support to Pakistan for rehabilitation of the flood victims.