US Visa Interview Waiver and Visa Renewal

US Visa Interview Waiver and Visa Renewal

US Visa Renewal

There is really no set procedure for renewing a US visa. You will have to apply all over again, including paying all the fees. However, some of the applicants may not need to attend the fingerprint appointment and/or consular interview, as described below.

US Visa Interview Waiver Program

Under the US visa interview waiver program, certain repeat travelers do not need to appear for an in-person interview at the US Consulate/Embassy, as long as certain conditions as listed below are met. Within this program, there are two categories of applicants: Those who still need to appear for the fingerprinting and others who don’t need even that.


You qualify for Interview Waiver Program (IWP) if any of the following situations apply to you:

  • The following classes of people qualify for the Interview Waiver Program “Drop Box” program. You don’t need to visit a VAC for fingerprinting, either.
    • You are applying for a visa in any of the A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 categories

    • Elderly
      • You are over the age of 80 years 

    • Children
      • You are under the age of 7 years 

      • Either of your parents has a valid visa in the same visa category in which you (the parent) are applying or renewing your visa at the same time as the child.

        Mexico: Both parents must be Mexican or a Third Country National residing in Mexico with immigration status (FM2 or FM3).
  • You would like to renew your visa, and all of the below situations are applicable:
    • Your prior visa in the same classification (not blanket L) is still valid or expired within the last 12 months

    • Applicant has a valid passport and is in possession of their previous visa.

    • The previous US visa you have/had is in the same visa class as the one you wish to renew. 

    • Your most recent visa (in the same visa class for which you are applying) was issued on or after your 14th birthday. 

    • Prior visa has the same name, date of birth, place of birth, and nationality. 
      Note: If an applicant’s name has changed from their previous visa, such as from maiden to married name, they must provide the other name on the DS-160 application as an “alias”.

    • Country-Specific:
      • Mexico:
        Applicant is a Mexican citizen or a Third Country National residing in Mexico with immigration status (FM2 or FM3). 

    • You received your visa after January 1, 2008. 

Note: If you need your passport returned within 2 weeks of submitting the application, you must select “Interview Required” to schedule a VAC appointment and a Consular interview.

Ineligibility for Renewal Without Consular Interview

The following types of applicants need to attend both the fingerprint appointment and consular interview appointment for US visa renewal.

  • Applicants for E-3 visa, T visa, U visa, H-2 visa, B-1 visa with “domestic employee in the US” annotation, and blanket L-1 visa.

  • Applicants who have been arrested or convicted for a crime anywhere in the world, or have had a US immigration violation, such as being deported from the US, denied entry into the US, or had any other problems or difficulties with US Customs and Border Protection when attempting to enter the US.

Application Procedure

  • Look at the US visa application procedure

    Follow the steps, which include photographs, application form, creating a profile, and paying visa fees.

  • Interview Waiver Program “DropBox”
    • If you qualify for the interview waiver or DropBox option for US visa renewal, you will need to schedule an appointment to visit the document drop-off locations in order to submit your documents. However, you will not need to schedule an interview at the US Embassy/Consulate.
    • Please note that in your case, you will see a drop-box submission letter containing a document checklist. Print two copies of the drop-box letter. Insert the following documents into a “dropbox” package, then seal the package:
      • Your current passport 

      • Your previous passport, if it contains your current or most recent visa 

      • One copy of the drop-box letter 

      • Two photographs taken within the last six months.
        Do not submit the same photograph that appeared on your last visa.

      • Category-specific supporting documents
        • J-2 applicants:
          Copy of DS-2019 

        • H-4 and L-2 applicants:
          Copy of I-797 and primary applicant’s visa 

        • D and C-1/D applicants:
          Copy of joining letter and original CDC

      • Child applicants should submit photocopies of either of their parents’ valid visas in the same category in which the child is applying

    • Take the “DropBox” package along with the second printout of the document checklist to one of the Visa Application Centers during your scheduled appointment. They will check your document checklist before they accept your application for delivery to the US Embassy/Consulate.
  • In case any additional information is required for processing your application, you will be contacted by email. 

    If your visa is issued, please look at passport delivery details

    However, please note that there is no guarantee that the visa will be issued. After reviewing an application, the US Embassy/Consulate may require you to appear in person in some cases.

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