U.S. Visa Renewals by Mail for Australian Citizens
Most Australian citizens working in the United States on visas remember having to apply for their initial US visa; book an appointment, wait in the security line, spend considerable time at the US Consulate, and then attend your scheduled in-person appointment.
While some US Consulates globally remain closed or restricted for standard visa appointments, and delays are more common, several categories of visa applicants in Australia are able to mail in their US visa renewal applications.
US Consulates in Australia offer services for some individuals to mail in their visa renewal applications after meeting certain criteria. 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 or passport 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.
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.
The option to mail-in visa renewals is not available for those applicants physically in the United States or abroad, you must be present in Australia.
The change provides applicants that qualify an advantageous route to visa renewal, routinely being processed faster that in-person appointments. The option to mail in your visa renewal application also assists visa applicants who do not live in Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth where the three US Consulates that facilitate US visas are located.
With domestic travel limitations and ongoing disruption, this can assist applicants with difficulty traveling between states and reduce the requirement of domestic travel within Australia, expediting the process of visa renewal.
U.S. Visas Eligible For Renewal By Mail
The US Consulates in Australia are currently allowing renewal by mail for the following visas
- B-1/B-2 visitor visas,
- F-1 student visas, and
- E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Visas.
The US Consulates are not allowing renewal by mail for E-2 Investor Visas, which will require in-person appointments.
It is important to note that the mail-in visa option for renewal requires the same documents as in-person appointments, and are not automatically approved. The application will still be assessed and reviewed by a US Consular Officer, who has complete authority to approve, deny or request more information in regard to your application.
The WMP team of US Immigration Lawyers and experts are happy to assist with mail-in visa applications. Please contact Worldwide Migration Partners for a consultation.
About The Author
Melissa Vincenty is a U.S. Attorney, a registered Australian Migration Agent and the founder and managing director of Worldwide Migration Partners. Melissa has over 25 years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law, including practising at the world’s largest U.S. Immigration Firm and more than 15 years as a Country Specialist (China and Tibet) for Amnesty International USA.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is general in nature, may not, and is not intended to constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information, and is for general informational purposes only. It does not represent legal advice specific to any individual/s situation, and should not be relied on as such. Please contact us to schedule a consultation for legal advice specific to individual circumstances.