If your U.S. visa has expired, you may apply for an extension of your U.S. visa. If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible to reapply for the same type of U.S. visa.
Am I Eligible to Renew My US Visa?
You may be eligible to apply for an extension of your U.S. visa if:
- You wish to extend a visa that you have already obtained. In other words: If you had a B2 visa, you can only apply for an extension of your B2 visa.
- If the U.S. Embassy did not deny your last visa application. If you applied for another U.S. visa after your visa expired and that application was denied, you cannot apply for a renewal.
- You are renewing a U.S. multiple entry visa that has been in effect for more than one year.
- You meet the requirements for the visa you are renewing. See U.S. visa types and requirements.
- You are applying to extend a U.S. visa from your home country. You cannot apply for the extension if you are still in the United States.
- Your visa has been expired for less than 48 months; visas that expired more than 48 months ago may also be considered.
Required Documents for US Visa Renewal
If you are renewing your U.S. visa, you must submit the same documents as when you first applied for your visa.
- Passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date you plan to leave the United States.
- A previous passport with an expired U.S. visa.
- Two passport-size photographs (as required by U.S. visa photo regulations). These must not be the same ones used in the original application.
- A printout of the confirmation page of the DS-160 form.
- Proof that you have paid the U.S. visa fee (receipt).
- Other documents appropriate to the U.S. visa you wish to extend.
Note: Although this is not a visa requirement, it is strongly recommended that you obtain travel medical insurance due to the high cost of medical care when traveling to the United States.
Applying for US Visa Renewal
The process for renewing your U.S. visa is similar to the first time you apply for your visa. You will need to do the following
- Complete the online application (Form DS-160).
- Make an appointment for an interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
- Pay the fee for the U.S. visa extension.
- Submit the documents required for the U.S. visa extension.
- Have an interview to renew your visa.
Please note: Depending on the country where you are renewing your U.S. visa, some parts of the application process may differ chronologically. For example, if you are renewing your U.S. visa in the Philippines, you must first pay the fee, then complete the application and schedule an appointment, while in India you must schedule an appointment and then pay the fee.
Complete Form DS-160 for US Visa Renewal
The application form for a US visa is called Form DS-160 and is a common online form for all non-immigrant visas and extensions of US visas. Form DS-160 can be completed in one of the following ways.
- Through a consular electronic application center. You must complete the application yourself, but if you need assistance with language issues, someone will be able to help you. The application form must be completed in English and must use only English characters.
- It may be beneficial to use the services of a third party company such as TravelAssist if you are unsure about filling out the DS-160, as they are used to dealing with embassies and consulates and have good information about the application process and required documents. They can give you all the information you need.
Once your application is complete, you will be presented with a confirmation page. Print this page and bring it with you to your interview or to submit your documents. Basically, you will need the confirmation page at every stage of the US visa renewal process.
Schedule an Interview Appointment
To schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country, you must visit their website. The embassy or consulate website will provide phone numbers and instructions on how to proceed.
The U.S. Department of State also has an online server for interview appointments (click here). If you registered when you first applied for your visa, you do not need to register again. Your registration information will be saved.
However, the interview appointment process varies from country to country, so you should contact the embassy in advance to obtain all relevant information. For a list of U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, click here.
Pay the US Visa Renewal Fee
You must pay the U.S. visa fee before submitting your completed U.S. visa renewal interview application. This fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of your application. You may also pay the fee in one of the following ways.
- Cash payment at a bank (using the receipt you download online).
- Payment by debit card (online)
- Pay in cash at the time of your interview at the embassy
The method of payment depends on the country you are applying for. The timing of payment also varies from country to country. In some cases, you may need to pay the fee before anything else because the fee receipt is required for the DS-160 application.
Submit the Documents/Enter the Interview
There are usually three options when it comes to filing documents and interviewing for visa renewal in the US.
- Submit the documents and have an interview at the US Embassy on different days.
- Submit the documents on the day of the interview at the US Embassy.
- Submit your documents to the Visa Application Center and then have your visa interview at the US Embassy.
This means you may need to make two appointments, one for the documentation and one for the interview. The US Embassy in your country should be able to provide you with this information. Note that you may not be asked for an interview when you renew your U.S. visa.
US Visa Renewal Interview
After you submit your visa extension documents, you will need to go to the U.S. Embassy and have an interview with the visa officer. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your travel, your reasons for applying for a visa, and personal information such as your salary and personal relationships. You will be asked anything that might help you make a decision.
US Visa Renewal Interview Waiver
If you are renewing a B-1/B-2, C-1/D, F, J, M, or O visa, you may qualify for an interview waiver. This means that you simply submit your documentation to the Embassy or Visa Application Center and wait to be notified of the outcome.
Contact the Visa Application Center or the U.S. Embassy to find out if you qualify for an interview waiver.
How Long Does the US Visa Renewal Process Take?
The time it takes to process a visa extension to the US depends on the type of visa you are applying for. It can take anywhere from a few days to several months. The timing of your application (embassy workload) and whether or not you have an interview will also affect your visa application.
The visa officer may inform you of the outcome of your application once the visa interview is complete. In other cases, you may go home after the interview and wait to be notified.
What Is the Validity of a Renewed US Visa?
In most cases, you will be issued a new visa with the same validity and conditions as the expired visa.
What if Your US Visa Renewal Application Is Denied?
If your application for an extension is denied, the U.S. Consulate will notify you of the reason for the denial. In most cases, U.S. visa applications are denied because of incomplete documentation or because of doubts about the applicant’s intentions in the United States.
If your U.S. visa application is denied, you have the option to apply for an “Ineligibility Waiver”.