The United States embassy in Nairobi on Friday, September 16, 2022, announced the expansion of its Interview Waiver Program for nonimmigrant visas.
In a statement, the embassy said Kenyans applying for renewal of tourist, business, student and crew visas will not be subjected to interviews.
The US government said the move is part of the embassy's efforts to address backlog challenges.
"As part of Ambassador Whitman’s pledge to reduce the nonimmigrant visa interview appointment backlog, the United States Embassy in Nairobi announced today that it has expanded the Interview Waiver Program for nonimmigrant visas," the statement read in part.
"Effective immediately, those applying for tourist/business (B1/B2), student (F, J, M), or crew visas (C1/D) categories may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview."
New Visa guidelines
To qualify for the program, the embassy said, you must be applying for the same visa category.
Also, your visa should not have expired more than four years ago. Formerly, the limit was one year.
🚨 Today we announced the expansion of the Interview Waiver Program for Non-Immigrant Visas! Read press release: https://t.co/Zsay4CLhH1 pic.twitter.com/rwiJNapcKd— U.S. Embassy Nairobi (@USEmbassyKenya) September 16, 2022
The move comes amid increasing concerns from Kenyans about visa application delays.
In July, the embassy came under heavy criticism over delays in processing travel documents for Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala.
The athlete nearly missed the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, following a visa hitch that roped in senior government officials.
He managed to travel to the US at the last minute after Kenyans on Twitter popularly known as (KoT) mounted pressure on the government and the embassy to expedite the process.