You may be wondering what next to do after your US visa has expired, and the answer is that you have to renew it.
It is no longer news that visa applications can be tricky, and it involves a lot of paperwork, a lot of rules, and plenty of stress.
It is the major reason why in this article, you will find a step-by-step visa renewal guide to assist you with the process. With this, you can get back to focusing on what’s important as soon as possible–enjoying your life in the United States.
As long as we can remember, there are about 185 various US visas, and each of them has rules and requirements specific to them. The purpose of this is to serve as a general guide to cover the basics of renewing most visas, however, you are advised to check with your US Embassy or Consulate for updated information or to answer any questions you may have.
If you are ready to renew your visa, below are the seven steps you should take for renewing your US visa:
- The first step is to find out if your visa is qualified for renewal
- The second step is to submit form DS-160/Online nonimmigrant visa application
- The third step is to find out if you are eligible for a visa interview waiver
- The fourth step is to pay the fee for visa application
- The fifth step is to send supporting documents
- The sixth step is to attend a visa interview (if necessary)
- The seventh step is to wait for a decision
1. The first step is to find out if your visa is qualified for renewal
When you want to renew your US visa, the first step you should take is to first find out if your visa is qualified for renewal.
We have listed below certain criteria to use to determine if you can renew your visa:
- After your first visa was granted, you can’t have been denied another visa.
- Your present visa must be valid for more than the period of one year and several entries into the United States.
- You are expected to meet all the standard requirements about the type of visa you are applying for.
Furthermore, you should note that you cannot apply for visa renewal from within the US rather it should be done from your home country.
2. The second step is to submit form DS-160/Online nonimmigrant visa application
If you can recall, DS-160 was the first form you completed at the initial stage of your visa journey.
It will be in your interest to know that there is no specific form for the renewal of nonimmigrant visas. It is safe to say that you are just beginning the whole process afresh.
Ensure that you save the confirmation you received after submitting your application because it will be required of you to send it in with your other documents.
3. The third step is to find out if you are eligible for a visa interview waiver.
The aim of the US Interview Waiver Program (IWP) is to permit qualified individuals to renew their visas without having to attend another interview. Nevertheless, if you do not meet the requirements listed below, it simply means that you are obligated to schedule a second one.
For you to qualify for the IWP, you must meet all of the following requirements below:
- You must have had your fingerprints scanned on your past consular visit
- You must be applying for the same type of visa you had earlier
- You must have a valid visa or one that expired within the past twelve months
- If your visa does not bear “Clearance Received” or “Waiver Granted” on it
- Some countries require you to pay reciprocity fees and you are not a citizen of such country.
- If you are not applying for a lost or stolen visa
In addition to this, we still advise that you check with your specific embassy or consulate for requirements for the IWP specific for each country.
4. The fourth step is to pay the fee for visa application
Aside from the DS-160 application form, we hope that you still remember the fees you had to pay. When renewing your visa, you have to pay them again and make sure you print the receipt as proof.
5. The fifth step is to send supporting documents
Once you have succeeded in submitting your application, the next thing to do is to gather the needed documents and send them in.
Most of the US visa types require the following documentation listed below:
- Your passport (must be valid for a minimum of six months after you must have exited from the United States)
- Your expired passports including your past visas in them
- You need two NEW photographs that are not the same as your past visa, and these photographs must meet the photo requirements
- The confirmation page of your DS-160
- A receipt that will serve as proof that you paid the visa fee
- Depending on the type of visa, other documents may be required
6. The sixth step is to attend a visa interview (if need be)
You are expected to attend another interview at the US Embassy where you sent your application if you are not eligible for the Interview Waiver Program. You do not have to fret because the interview will be similar to the first one you had, therefore, you should know what to expect already.
7. The seventh step is to wait for a decision
After you have completed the steps mentioned above, all that’s left to do is wait.
You should note that the wait time for visa renewals is relatively short. Interestingly, in a case whereby you didn’t need a second interview, your visa can be available within as little as ten business days.
Nevertheless, you can check on the US Embassy and Consulate website where you applied to have a correct estimate of when you will receive an answer.
Finally, from all we have said, you can see that the process of a visa renewal is not tasking, all you need to do is to take the appropriate steps and your visa will get renewed.