Would you like to know how you can renew your U.S. visa in 2023? If so, then this video is right for you.
Your U.S. visa has expired and now it’s renewal time. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the general process of applying to renew your U.S. visa in 2023 at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas.
Please note that there are hundreds of different U.S. visa categories that have their own eligibility criteria and renewal requirements. The information provided here does not, and is not intended, to constitute legal advice. To obtain legal advice on your particular facts, case, or circumstances, please consult with a licensed immigration attorney.
For visa specific information and documentary requirements, applicants may contact their closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Visa Renewal Steps
Here are the main steps that any applicant must take when renewing their visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.
Step One: Make sure that you qualify for your U.S. Visa Renewal
First and foremost, regardless of your visa type you must be prepared to provide documentary evidence to the Consular official to prove that you remain eligible for the renewal of your visa.
For example, if you are renewing a student visa you must provide your updated Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status to show that you remain eligible to study in the United States. If you are applying to renew your tourist visa, you must continue to demonstrate your eligibility such as proof of temporary stay, strong ties to your home country, proof of sufficient finances to cover your temporary stay, etc.
Those applying for renewal of their work visa, must be prepared to show the approval notice issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to demonstrate continued eligibility for their work visa and to qualify for visa stamping.
Step Two: Properly Complete and Submit Form DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
All non-immigrant visa applicants must properly complete and submit Form DS-160, the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
Form DS-160 is submitted electronically via the Department of State website known as the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). Consular Officers rely on the information submitted on the DS-160 to process the visa application and determine an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa at an in-person Consular visa interview.
After completing Form DS-160, applicants must print and keep a copy of the DS-160 barcode confirmation page, pay the appropriate visa fee, and schedule an in-person visa interview appointment at the closest U.S. Consulate or Embassy if one is required.
Step Three: Check to see whether you may qualify for a Visa Interview Waiver
After submitting Form DS-160 and paying the visa fee, applicants should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and/or review the Consulate’s webpage to verify whether they qualify for a waiver of the in-person interview requirement.
Certain renewal applicants may not be required to attend an in-person visa interview depending on their visa classification. However, please note that interview waivers are a discretionary process that may or may not be granted based on the issuance and approval of a previously issued visa in the same visa classification.
In general, waiver of the in-person interview has been typically reserved for applicants who meet certain conditions, including that they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence, have never been refused a visa, have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility for the visa they are seeking, and are renewing a visa in the same visa classification within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration. Such interview waivers have previously been granted for certain students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists (F, M, and academic J visa applicants) and for certain temporary workers who have an individual petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visa applicants).
Please note that Consular officers may still require an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis, considering local conditions. Applicants are encouraged to check Embassy and Consulate websites for more detailed information regarding interview waivers.
If you have been denied or refused a U.S. visa in the past, or any circumstances have changed since filing your initial U.S. visa, you should contact an immigration attorney to discuss these matters further. Furthermore, if you have had any criminal issues in your home country or in the U.S. since applying for your initial U.S. visa, you should consult with an attorney.
Step Four: Pay the Appropriate Visa Application Fee
Once you have submitted the DS-160 online application, you must pay the appropriate visa application fee by creating an online account on the Official U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service in the country where you will be applying for your visa. Certain U.S. Consulates and Embassies may not allow payment of visa fees online and may instead instruct you to submit payment at a local bank in your country of residence. For further information, please check your Embassy or Consulate webpage.
For a complete list of nonimmigrant visa fees please click here.
Once you have made payment for your visa fees, you must save a copy of your payment confirmation and bring it to the interview.
Step Five: Collect and Prepare the Supporting Documentation for your Visa Interview
One of the most important steps in the application process is collecting and preparing the supporting documentation that you will need to take to your in-person visa interview for review by the Consular officer. Such documentation must prove that you qualify for the visa you are seeking.
The documentation that you must prepare will vary depending on the visa you are seeking. For example, if you are applying for renewal of your student visa, generally you must show proof of your continued enrollment in an SEVP certified school, your updated Form I-20, proof of financial resources to pay for your course of study and living expenses, etc.
Those applying for a tourist visa, will need to provide evidence of their temporary stay, proof of their strong ties to their home country, proof of financial resources, obligations that require them to return to their country of origin, etc.
Step Six: Prepare for and Attend your Visa Interview
If you are required to attend an in-person visa interview, you must be well-prepared for the questions you will be asked at your interview and bring the required documentation with you.
Step Seven: Wait for a Decision
Once you have attended your visa interview, you must wait for the Consular officer to make a final decision. In most cases, the Consular officer will notify you of their decision at the conclusion of the visa interview. However, it is also common for an official decision to be made within several business days, which you will receive by email.
In other circumstances, further background checks may be necessary before a decision can be made, which can result in the applicant being placed in administrative processing for further administrative review.
Applicants can also check the status of their visa on the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) webpage, as well as the online portal where they paid their visa fee (if applicable).
Once you have received an email confirming your approval, you will be given instructions on how your passport will be returned to you with the U.S. visa printed inside. Some Consulates and Embassies allow for home delivery of the passport by courier service, while others require you to pick up your passport at a designated pickup location by showing your email confirmation and valid government issued photo identification.
These are the seven steps that you need to follow to apply for a renewal of your U.S. visa in 2023. If you found this video helpful, please share it with a friend or family member.
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- Form DS-160, the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- Official U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service
- Applying for a U.S. Visa
- Visa Interview Waivers
- Nonimmigrant Visa Fees
- CEAC Visa Status Check
- September Visa Bulletin
- U.S. Embassies and Consulates
- NVC Timeframes
- Visa Appointment Wait Times
- State Department Newsroom
- ImmigrationU Membership
- Success stories
- Youtube channel
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