Effective August 25, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the United States Department of State has expanded the field of individuals eligible for visa renewal to those who have had a valid visa expire within the last 24 months. The previous requirement was to have had a valid visa expire within 12 months.
All visa applicants require an interview appointment, with the exception of applicants who are applying for official visas and Interview Waiver (IW) cases. These include first-time applicants under age 14 or 80 or older, and some applicants applying for renewals. You will be informed of whether you qualify for IW when you fill out your application at the Visa Service website.
Some applicants applying for visa renewal are eligible to apply through IW. This special exemption applies only to applicants who meet ALL of the following qualifications:
- Applicant is applying for a visa in the Consular district of his or her normal residence AND
- Applicant is applying for the same visa class and category as the previous visa, with the same passport type and nationality AND
- Applicant applied for last visa after December 31, 2007, AND
- Applicant was age 14 or older when the previous visa was issued, AND
- Applicant’s visa does not have the words “clearance,” “waiver,” or “blanket” printed on it AND
- The applicant’s current visa is still valid, or it expired less than 24 months ago
These applications may take up to three weeks for processing. In some cases, the Embassy may contact you to schedule an in-person interview with a consular officer.
APPLICANTS UNDER AGE 14 AND AGE 80 OR OVER
Applicants under age 14 and age 80 or older are not required to schedule an interview at the Embassy, regardless of whether they are first time applicants or renewals. Applicants may submit their application together with all supporting documents via the courier service.
Visa applications for children under 14 should also include:
- Photocopies of each parent’s passport biographic information page and valid U.S. visa (note that if parents do not hold U.S. visas, children are not eligible for the interview waiver).
If the young applicant’s parents do not have valid U.S. visas, and someone else is travelling with the young applicant, (e.g., grandparent):
- Copy of the parents’ passports biographic pages.
- Copy of the U.S. visa of the person traveling with the child.
- Parents’ letter of consent, stating that they are aware of the child’s travel to the United States with that person.
APPLYING FOR IW
To begin the IW process, please go to the Visa Services website here and click “Apply.”