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Today, we would like to give you some breaking news on the visa interview waivers at the US embassy and consulate in Japan.


Waive My Interview (Other than Renewals)

Beginning January 1, 2024, applicants for certain categories of visas may apply by mail without an in-person interview. First-time applicants are eligible if they meet the following requirements:

  • You are a citizen of Japan or another S. Visa Waiver Program Country  AND
  • You are a lawful foreign resident of Japan (zairyucard holder) and are currently in Japan (for non-Japanese)
  • You were previously interviewed by a consular officer and were issued a visa of any type other than a B-1, B-2 or B1/B2.
  • You are applying for one of the following types of visas:
    • C1/D, F, I, M, J, H, O, P, Q or R visas.
    • E visas – only if the U.S. E company is already registered.
    • L visas – Blanket L visa applicants may not apply by mail.
  • Your most recently issued visa is still valid or expired less than 48 months ago, and you have not been refused for a U.S. visa since your previous visa was issued.
  • You have not been arrested in Japan, the United States, or any other country.

Note: First-time visa applicants with prior travel to the United States on ESTA but no prior visa may no longer apply by mail and must appear for an in-person interview.


These new criteria for mailing in passports are important. NOTE, that you must be present in the consular district (in Japan) during the application process. You cannot be in another country.