What to do When my US Visa Expires?

The US visa unlike every other country’s visa is very sensitive. From the point of entry, where customs get to stamp the date on the passport, the time of the visitors starts counting. This is to show that having a US visa means serious business.

The US visa is in several categories with each category having a stipulated time frame for which it will remain valid. Once this time frame expires, the question is what will you do when your US visa expires?

Knowing that a visa is a document that allows a foreigner entry into a country. There’s not so much to worry about once the US visa expires while you’re in the US. 

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Moreover, as long as you keep a clean status and follow all immigration rules, you can live in the US pending when you renew your visa. 

As a student too, once your student visa expires, you can continue to stay in the US with the expired visa as long as the student status is maintained.

However, one needs to be careful not to overstay after the visa has expired or overstay the period authorized by the CBP officers at the port of entry or the United States Citizenship and  Immigration Services (USCIS)

This may lead to total alteration of the visa, rendering it void, and to avoid alteration of your visa, you can apply for an extension of stay before the authorized stay expires. During which you can now apply to renew your visa.

Apply and for an extension of stay in the US

To apply and request for an extension of stay in the US, one needs to schedule an appointment with the USCIS officer through the Internet, using the website provided by them. When the appointment has been scheduled, the visitor is expected to go with documents and any other proof that shows that you need to extend your Visa.

You can also apply for US visa renewal and below are steps on how to apply:

Check if your US Visa can be Renewed

This is the most important step to take to avoid time and resources wastage. Therefore, to ascertain that your visa is eligible enough for renewal,

  • It means your first or initial visa was not denied.
  • Your current visa must be valid for more than one year.
  • Your current visa must be one for multiple entry into the US.

Also, the Visa renewal can be done from your home country and not the US. Moreover, there are different requirements for different categories of Visa you wish to apply for, you must meet the standard requirements.

Submit Form DS-160

This is the Form you filled at the beginning of your visa journey. This means that there’s no form created specially for renewal of visa. This form is submitted with other forms.

Check if you qualify for Visa Interview Waiver

This step is a step where the applicant get to be asked questions by the official in charge. This step is repeated again when renewing your visa, but for the main fact that you are eligible and your status is clean, you will be cleared and also waived cause this step automatically becomes unnecessary.

Furthermore, to qualify for waiver means:

  • Your finger prints has already been scanned on your previous visit.
  • This means that you’re also applying for the same category of visa as to the initial one.
  • The visa you’re renewing must either be valid for one year, or if expired, must be the one which expired within the past 6 months.
  • Finally, you’re not reapplying for a visa that is missing but one which is presently available except that it has expired.

Pay For the Visa Application Fee

This step requires you to pay a fee when renewing your visa. After payment, make sure to print a receipt or proof of payment for easy identification.

Send Necessary Documents:

After you’re done with the application, you’ll be required to send necessary documents such as:

  • Passports (which should be valid for at least 6months before the departure to the US)
  • Your Expired Visa
  • Two new photographs
  • Printed proof of payment indicating you paid the visa fee
  • The confirmation page of DS-160, and any other documents depending on the category of visa.

Attend an interview

This should only be because you didn’t qualify for the waiver previously, so it becomes necessary to be present for a visa interview at the US embassy where you applied for the renewal of your visa.

Wait for Results and Decisions

As long as you have followed due protocols and steps in applying for renewal of visa, expect positive reply from the US embassy. Wait for decisions from them and always check their page or website for their update. You could have your renewal in 10 business days.

Goodluck!

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