Do you frequently need to visit the US for business or conferences? Has your visa expired recently? Although visa renewal might seem like a daunting task, it can be renewed easily by following some simple steps. Moreover, if you qualify for the Interview Waiver Program, you don’t even need to go for the visa interview.
Eligibility for US Visa Renewal
Before setting out to renew your US visa, you should check whether you are eligible to do so or not. There are some criteria you need to fulfil to be eligible, such as:
- You must renew the same visa type that you previously had. You cannot apply for renewal for a different visa type. For instance, if you had a B-2 visa, you can apply only for the renewal for a B-2 visa.
- You can apply for visa renewal only if you haven’t been denied a US visa recently.
- The visa you wish to renew must be a multiple entry type and should be valid for more than one year.
- You must meet all the criteria for the visa type that you wish to renew. For example, if you want your B1 visa to get renewed, you must fulfil all the requirements for the B1 visa. So, before going for visa renewal, check if you are still eligible for it.
- You must apply for visa renewal from India. This means that if your visa expires while you are in the US, you will first need to return to India and then apply for visa renewal.
US Visa Renewal Process
Once you have made sure that you are eligible for visa renewal, you can go ahead and submit the application. The process is a simple one and can be done online.
- You need to pay the US visa fees. The process is similar to how you made the payment when you first applied for the specific visa.
- You will need to fill the Non-immigrant Visa Application Form DS-160 again. After submitting the form, you will get a confirmation number that will be required in the later process.
- Now, you need to visit the US visa website. Create your account and complete the questions that are asked once you sign in. These questions will determine if you are eligible for the Interview Waiver Program (IWO). If you qualify for the IWP, you can simply mail the supporting documents.
- You will need to submit the required documents, such as a valid passport, passport size photographs, Form DS-160, etc, to the US Embassy. Then, you will have to schedule and attend a visa interview.
If you have qualified for the visa IWP, you will receive the answer from the US embassy regarding the approval of your visa renewal within 10-12 days. And, your passport with the US visa stamp on it will be mailed to you. However, if you have not qualified for the IWP, the process might take longer.
Don’t forget to get insurance.
It is recommended that you get travel insurance when traveling to USA, as medical expense (even for common flu) can run into hundreds of dollars! Here are some of the best insurance for US visitors.
And, remember that you must schedule the visa appointment in case you have to travel urgently to the US or if you are not eligible for the IWP.