Under U.S. law, travelers seeking a nonimmigrant visa for travel to the United States must generally appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. U.S. law also designates limited exceptions under which the visa interview may be waived, such as for diplomats and officials traveling on official government business. However, under U.S. law, when a diplomat or official applies for a new visa for personal travel, that applicant must appear in person for an interview.
This is not a new policy.
In such limited and special circumstances as having a former president come in, we have procedures established to ensure the appropriate courtesies are extended.
When a diplomat or official applies for a visa for personal travel, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for the applicant to be accompanied to the interview by protocol assistants. As a general policy, only visa applicants are allowed in the waiting room. Our communication to the Government of Ghana was meant to clarify this policy. We will continue to work with the government to facilitate legitimate personal and official travel.