When you are approved for a US non-immigrant visa, that visa is temporary. If your visa expires, you have the chance to renew it through a similar procedure to the initial US visa application process. However, there are some differences which will be detailed in this article on the US visa renewal process.
What is a Renewed US Visa?
A renewed US visa is essentially the same as your original visa. You had a US nonimmigrant visa, which expired so you want to obtain a new one of the same classification. The renewed US visa does not have any different conditions from the visa you had originally.
What you are allowed to do with a renewed US visa depends on the type of visa that it is. If you had an H1B visa, then you are allowed to work and also apply for a Green Card, but if you had a B1 visa or a B2 visa, then you are only allowed to visit and not work.
You must renew your visa if the validity date has expired. Each visa stamped on your passport has a date when it was issued and a date when it is expired. Only if the expiration date has passed is it necessary to renew the visa. This should not be confused with the expiration of a passport.
If you have a valid US visa, but your passport is no longer valid you do not need to renew your visa. You must apply for a new passport in your country of residence and then travel to the US. When you travel to the US in this case, you must have your old passport with the valid US visa and your new valid passport. You will not be allowed to enter the US with a passport that has expired, even if your US visa is still valid.
If you are approved for a renewed US visa then it will still have a validity period. This means that it will expire again. The reason for that is that the renewed visas are US nonimmigrant visas which are temporary. US immigrant visas are permanent and therefore do not need to be renewed, so you can only renew nonimmigrant visas.
Do I Qualify for US Visa Renewal?
After your visa expires and you decide you want to renew it, you must first check whether you are eligible to do it. There are several requirements for those who plan to renew it, and you must fulfill all of them. The criteria are as follows:
- You must renew the visa that you previously had. If you had a B1 visa, for example, you must apply to renew the B1 visa. You cannot apply to renew a different type of visa that you did not have before.
- You must not have been denied a visa recently. This means that if after your visa was issued, you applied for a different visa and the US Embassy denied it, you cannot apply for a renewal of your expired visa.
- The visa you want to renew must be for multiple entries into the US and must have longer validity than one year.
- You must fulfill all the requirements for the visa you want to renew. This means that you must also check the requirements of the individual visa. If you had a B-1 visa and want to renew the B-1 visa, you must check that you are still eligible to have it. If you are not eligible for a B-1 visa anymore, then you will be denied the renewal application.
- Finally, you must apply for a visa renewal from your home country. When your visa expires, you must return to your country of residence and apply for a renewal from there. You cannot apply to have your visa renewed from within the US.
How to apply for a US visa renewal?
If you fulfill all the requirements, then you can start applying for your visa renewal. The process includes several steps as follows:
You must make the payments of all the US visa fees specific to your visa. The fees are paid in a similar way to how you paid them when you first applied. If you do not pay the fees, you will be denied any further processing.
Submit the Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. You submitted this form in the beginning, and you must fill it out again. When you complete it, you will get the confirmation page and number, which you need to save for your supporting documents. You can fill the DS-160 form online through the Consular Electronic Application Center.
Send in your supporting documents to the US Embassy where you are applying. If you qualified for the visa interview waiver, then you can just mail the following documents:
- Your passport which is valid for 6 months after your intended departure from the US.
- Any previous expired passports with US visas in them.
- Two photographs which meet the Photo Requirements. The photographs must be new and not the ones you used in your previous visa application.
- Your Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Receipts which prove you have paid all the visa fees.
- You may also be required to schedule an appointment to have your fingerprints taken. You can schedule it at the US Embassy where you are applying for. You will go there in person, but you will not be required to go through the visa interview.
- Any other supporting documents depending on your visa type. These are documents that you have submitted previously when you applied for the first time.
If you do not qualify for the visa interview waiver, then you will also have to schedule your visa interview and attend it. The interview will be similar to the one you did when you applied for the first time.
If you qualify for the visa interview waiver, then you must mail all of the documents above to the US Embassy following their instructions.
Note that the procedures for a US visa renewal for parents and a US visa renewal for minors are identical as explained so far.
US Visa Renewal Interview
When applying to renew your visa for the United States you may have to apply for a US visa renewal with an interview, or you may be eligible for a US visa renewal without an interview.
There is an Interview Waiver Program (IWP) for those applying for a US visa renewal. You should check with the US embassy that processes your application, whether you qualify for an interview waiver or not.
If you do qualify, you should still make a US visa renewal appointment in order to submit your documents.
How Long Does it take to Process a US Visa Renewal?
If you are applying as part of the visa interview waiver program, then the processing time for your visa will be very short. You should expect to have an answer within around 10 days from the US Embassy on whether you were approved for the visa or not. Then your passport will also be mailed to you with your visa stamped on it.
However, there are situations when you must schedule an appointment with the US Embassy, which will change the processing time of the visa. The situations are as follows:
- If you think that you might have ineligibility for the visa you want to renew.
- If you have had a visa waiver in the past.
- If you have planned urgent traveling in the next 10 days.
These situations will require you to appear in person at the US Embassy for an interview and will either increase or decrease processing times.
How Long is a Renewed US Visa Valid For?
A renewed visa is similar to the initial visa you got the first time. The validity period for it depends on the type of visa, and it will expire afterward again. However, depending on the type of visa, you can renew it or extend it for a longer period of time.
How Much Is US Visa Renewal Fee?
The fee of a US visa renewal is the same as the fee you paid when you applied for the first time for that visa. Thus, when applying for a US visa renewal you should pay the same amount of money for the fee of visa processing.
Can My US Visa Renewal Be Denied?
Yes, your US visa renewal application may be denied if you no longer meet the requirements to hold a US non-immigration visa. You can also be rejected from getting your US visa renewed if you have recently been rejected from the US embassy when applying for another US visa.
How to Renew US Visa in India?
If you are wondering how to apply for US visa renewal in India, you should note that the process is identical as explained above. You need to follow all these procedures, including collecting all of the required documents for US visa renewal in India.
You may qualify for the Interview Waiver Program (IWP), which permits you to apply for a US visa renewal without an interview in India.
How to Apply for US Visa Renewal in the Philippines?
When applying for the renewal of US visa in Philippines, you will need to collect the required documents and make a US visa renewal appointment for Philippines. Note that according to the type of visa you held before, you may qualify for the Interview Waiver Program, which means you can apply for a US visa renewal in Philippines with no interview.
The procedures for US visa renewal in Nigeria, US visa renewal in Vietnam, US visa renewal in Canada and for US visa renewal in Singapore, also go the same way. You should check if you qualify for interview exemption. If yes, you just need to collect the required documents and submit them to the US embassy on the date of your appointment.
Important: Once you’ve decided to apply for a US visa renewal it is advisable that you get yourself some health insurance coverage due to the large fees of medical services in the United States.
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