(CNN Spanish) — An alien with a valid visa may apply for admission to the United States as long as their visa is not damaged, is of the correct category for the purpose of travel, and the expiration date is current. Otherwise, it’s time to renew.
And whether you are applying for a visa for the first time or want to renew a visa under the same classification, the application process is the same: complete the online application of the Form DS-160pay the indicated fee, and in some cases you will have to make an appointment at the US embassy or consulate and attend the appointment.
However, some renewal cases are eligible for an interview waiver, which allows qualified individuals to apply for a renewal without being interviewed in person at the U.S. consulate or embassy. However, these exemptions are case-by-case. so they are not a guarantee.
Next, we explain the process from start to finish to renew the visa for the USA:
Who is eligible and ineligible to receive a visa
In addition to having the necessary documents—such as establishing that the visit will be temporary, agreeing to depart at the end of the authorized stay, having a valid passport, and maintaining a residence abroad—the applicant must also be eligible to receive a visa.
This considering that there are certain conditions and activities indicated by the US Government that can make a person ineligible to receive a visa. For example, having previously overstayed a visa, having committed certain crimes, or presenting false documents during the visa application.
If you are eligible, the next step is to start the application.
Apply for visa renewal
Before starting the renewal application under the same visa classification, make sure you have a valid passport, this considering that as a general rule the United States requires that the passport be valid for at least six months after the period of stay, although some countries are exempt from this rule.
The second is to fill DS-160 application as a visa renewal application. This application takes approximately 90 minutes and you must have the following information on hand:
- Personal data: name, date of birth, passport information, official identification, current residence address, email, telephone and social networks.
- Travel itinerary: arrival and departure dates, flights, lodging address and purpose of the trip.
- Data of the companions: name and relationship.
- Previous travel information: dates of arrivals and departures to the US.
- Contact in the US: name, relationship and contact in the case of having a relationship with someone who lives in the North American country.
- Family information: name, date of birth and address of your mother, father, spouse and children. You must indicate if you have a family in the US.
- Education and work: name, address and contact of current and past work. The same information on schooling is requested.
- Security questionnaire.
- Information on the type of visa that is being requested.
Once you finish filling out the application, you will need to print the confirmation page with the barcode.
Appointment at the CAS and at the Embassy or Consulate
On some occasions the applicant will be asked to upload a photo as part of the DS-160 application process. However, the applicant may have to schedule an appointment at the Applicant Service Center (CAS) to which they must attend prior to their consular appointment. The CAS will take the biometric information (photo and fingerprints) of the applicant.
The appointment at the CAS and at the consulate can be made by phone or online.
And on the day of the interview, in case of not having been eligible for the exemption, the applicant must bring the following documents:
- Valid passport or previously issued passports.
- DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode.
- Receipt of payment of the visa application.
Minors must bring a recent photograph (taken in the last six months) in passport size on a white background.
If the visa is approved, it will be delivered via courier within 3 to 4 weeks.
The cost of applying for a visa varies according to your classification, but these are some visa application fees: US$160 for a visa of categories B, F or TN and US$160 for a visa of categories H, L and O.
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