Fresh student visa applicants will have to depend on the Covid-19 situation of the country
The US Embassy in Dhaka started accepting interview applications for tourism, business, and medical (B1/B2) visas on Monday.
The embassy will accept interview-waiver applications for B1/B2 and some nonimmigrant visas – C, C1/D, F, I, J, M, O, and Q visas – resumed earlier.
US Embassy Dhaka Consular Chief William Dowers made the announcement at an online press briefing on the same day.
Although the US has started accepting interview-waiver renewal applications for returning students, the issuance of new student visas will be contingent on the pandemic situation.
However, the embassy will continue to offer emergency visa services for applicants with life or death emergencies.
Dowers advised visa applicants to submit applications well ahead of their proposed travel dates as the processing could take as long as six weeks due to Covid-19.
The consular chief also said eligibility for interview-waiver renewal of nonimmigrant visas was extended to 24 months due to the pandemic and it would be effective up to 31 December 2020.
Eligible applicants will have to log in to their online profile and submit their application package after paying associated visa fees through the embassy's website, Dowers informed.
The embassy is now only accepting interview-waiver applications for returning students who wish to renew visas for the same field of study at the same institution, the consular chief also said.
"People who already have a visa and need to renew or extend it will not have to face the embassy physically," Dowers said. "The embassy will not be granting interviews for new student visa applications."
Also, students with visas, which have expired in the last 24 months will be allowed to apply for the visas.
"The embassy is not in a position to confirm when the issuance of new student visa applications will resume in Dhaka. We wish to resume it per the instructions of our medical professionals," Dowers said.
However, the consular chief recommended that students with scholarship offers from any US university should communicate with the institute directly. "The embassy is not dealing with the issue."
Dowers also said the overall conditions in countries across the globe are not the same. "Not all of the US embassies across the world are issuing students visas now."