Updates to US Visa Renewals
Most people working in the United States on visas remember having to apply for their initial US visa; booking an appointment, waiting in the lengthy security line, spending most of your morning at the US Consulate, and then finally getting the quick interview to let you know that your visa has been approved. While most US Consulates globally remain closed for standard visa appointments, more and more visa applicants in Australia are able to mail-in their visa renewal applications.
US Consulates in Australia are allowing some individuals to mail-in their visa renewal applications after meeting certain criteria stated online through US Travel Docs. Primarily, the visa applicant must:
- Be renewing the same type of visa class as your existing visa.
- Your current, existing visa has been valid within the last 24-months.
- You must be physically in the Consular jurisdiction.
- Your current visa has not been lost or stolen.
In the past, Consulates would require that an applicants’ most recent visa be valid within the past 12-month period to qualify for a mail-in application. However, the US Department of State has extended this requirement due to the global Consular closures and now states that your most recent visa should be valid within the past 24-months – meaning, the expiration of the applicant’s most recent visa did not expire more than 24-months before the current renewal.
Although the option to mail-in visa renewals is not available for those applicants physically in the United States, this is a valuable and efficient option to save time. Additionally, by mailing in your visa renewal application, this greatly helps visa applicants who may not live in Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth where the three US Consulates are located. With domestic travel limitations, this can greatly assist applicants with the difficulty of traveling between states and limit domestic travel within Australia from areas far from the three US Consulates. Most importantly, having the option to mail-in your visa renewal application can be the only alternative to obtaining a visa renewal while the US Consulates are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
US Visas Currently Eligible For Renewal By Mail
The US Consulates in Australia are currently allowing renewal by mail for B-1/B-2 visitor visas, F-1 student visas, and E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Visas.
At the time of posting, the US Consulates are not allowing renewal by mail for E-2 Investor Visas.
Our team of US lawyers and immigration experts are happy to assist with mail-in visa applications. Please contact Worldwide Migration Partners for a consultation or to move forward with your visa renewal.
Visit our Visas and Covid-19 resources for more up to date information on US visas
About The Author
Melissa Vincenty is a US attorney, an Australian migration agent and the founder and managing director of Worldwide Migration Partners. Melissa has over 20 years of experience in migration law, including practising at the world’s largest US immigration firm and more than 15 years as a Country Specialist (China and Tibet) for Amnesty International USA.