of Domestic Visa Revalidation Services
Revalidation Division is discontinuing its domestic visa revalidation
(or reissuance) service. Notification of the discontinuation of domestic
visa revalidation services was published in the Federal
Register on June 23, 2004. The Division will CLOSE TO NEW APPLICATIONS
ON JULY 16, 2004. ALL APPLICATIONS FOR VISA REVALIDATIONS IN THE E, H,
I, L, O, OR P CATEGORIES MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE ST. LOUIS PROCESSING
OFFICE ON OR BEFORE JULY 16, 2004.
and supporting documentation received after July 16 will be returned.
for visa revalidation following a 221(g) refusal and requests for corrections
must be submitted to the Revalidation Division in Washington no later
than September 30, 2004.
applications will continue to be processed in the order in which they
are received. All information in the sections below on the revalidation
process remains valid.
many years of service, the Revalidation Division must discontinue its
domestic revalidation service for E, H, I, L, O, and P visas. Section
303 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act requires
the Department of State to collect a biometric identifier (fingerprint)
from all non-diplomatic visa applicants. It is not feasible for the Department
of State to collect the biometric identifiers.
encourage all applicants to apply for new visas in their home countries.
If you are not traveling to your home country, you may apply at a U.S.
visa processing post in Canada and Mexico provided you have made a visa
interview appointment. You may also apply at a U.S. visa processing post
in a third country provided you have made an interview appointment. You
should understand that if there is a delay in visa issuance, you may need
to spend more time overseas than you originally planned. Information on
U.S. visa processing posts and their visa interview appointment systems
is at http://usembassy.state.gov.
A business associate, friend, or relative may need to make the visa interview
appointment for you. We have directed our visa processing posts to give
priority to applicants who would have benefited from our domestic visa
Visa Revalidation Is Not Guaranteed
Visas That Cannot Be Renewed In The U.S.
Where To Send Visa Revalidation Applications
Visa and Documentation Return
The Visa Revalidation
Division of the Visa Office accepts applications for revalidation of employment
category (E, H, I, L, O, and P) visas from applicants who hold a visa
of the same category and meet certain other criteria. Revalidation is
also called renewal or reissuance. Applicants may also apply for a new
visa at a U.S. embassy or
consulate abroad that processes nonimmigrant visa applications.
The Visa Office considers
existing visas for revalidation when they are within sixty days of expiration.
Visas received for revalidation before that sixty-day period are returned
without revalidation. If your visa has expired, the Visa Office accepts
applications for visa revalidation only if the visa is within one year
of its expiration date. Your nationality must be the same as when your
previous visa was issued for the Visa Office to accept your visa revalidation
If you changed employers
and received a new I-797, Notice of Action, you may reenter the U.S. with
a valid visa in the appropriate category and the valid I-797 from your
new employer, even though the visa is annotated to reflect your former
employer. The Visa Office will not revalidate a visa to reflect a change
of employer unless the visa will expire in sixty days or less.
Revalidation Is Not Guaranteed
If your application
does not meet all of the Visa Office’s established revalidation
criteria, or if there is any other reason why your application is not
clearly approvable for revalidation by the Visa Office, you must make
a new visa application at a U.S. consulate or embassy
revalidation processing currently takes approximately 10-12 weeks from
the date your application is data-entered in the Visa Office in Washington.
The Visa Office adheres
to a strict first-received, first processed policy for all visa revalidation
applications. The Visa Office is unable to expedite
visa re-issuance. If you anticipate urgent travel, please apply
for your visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. If you submitted
an application for visa revalidation and learn that you must travel urgently,
please see “How do I withdraw a pending revalidation application?”
Visa Office is unable to provide status reports on revalidation applications.
Each year the Visa
Office receives approximately 65,000 applications for visa revalidations.
Our goal is to process these applications as quickly as possible. Because
of our volume, we do not provide status reports
on visa revalidation applications or expedite applications. To
make the revalidation process more transparent, we provide the following
general information on how revalidation applications are processed.
Visa applicants, attorneys,
and employers send visa revalidation applications to the Visa Office’s
lockbox/processing center in St. Louis via the U.S. Postal Service or
commercial courier services. The lockbox/processing center collects visa-related
fees and data-enters the application information. After fee and data collection,
the lockbox forwards the applications to the Visa Office in Washington.
E, H, L, O, and P applications are processed together; one type of application
does not receive priority over the other types of applications. The Visa
Office receives the applications and loads the application data into its
computer system. <>The date the Visa Office in Washington
loads the application data into the Visa Office computer system in Washington
is the date the Visa Office considers the application was received.
You should assume
that it takes approximately 10 working days for the Visa
Office in Washington to receive an application from the lockbox/processing
center and for the Visa Office in Washington to load the application data
into its computer system.
lockbox operation returns applications that do not conform to the Visa
- No nonimmigrant
visa application fee ($100 per applicant), incorrect nonimmigrant visa
application fee, or fee payment that conflicts with the type and number
of visas being applied for;
- A check drawn on
a foreign bank or not payable to the Department of State;
- No Nonimmigrant
Visa Application form DS-156 /or Supplementary Nonimmigrant Visa Application
form DS-157; or use of any version of the DS-156 other than the February
- No passport;
- An application
made by a national of one of the seven countries designated as state
sponsors of terrorism (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria,
- Non-standard visa
photograph (See nonimmigrant visa photograph
communication on visa revalidation applications is through the Visa Office
The lockbox/processing center does not communicate with the public at
any time. The lockbox/processing center forwards any communications it
receives on visa revalidation issues to the Visa Office in Washington
The Visa Office will
refuse an application that does not conform to our requirements.
That Can Not Be Renewed In The U.S.
The Visa Office does
not revalidate visas for nationals of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea,
Sudan, or Syria, the seven countries currently designated as state sponsors
of terrorism. These applicants must apply for new visas at a U.S.
embassy or consulate abroad. For more information, please see the
Notice: Special Visa Processing Procedures Pursuant to Section 306 of
the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002.
These visa categories
are NOT revalidated in the Visa Office:
- B1/B2 (business/tourism);
- C (transit);
- D (air or sea
- F (student);
- J (exchange visitor);
- K (fiancé/e
of a U.S. citizen)
- M (vocational
- N (parent of alien
classified SK-3 Special Immigrant)
- Q (international
- R (religious worker);
- S (supplier of
information relating to a criminal organization);
- T (victim of severe
form of trafficking in persons)
- TN (NAFTA professional)
- U (victim of criminal
- V (spouse/child
of Legal Permanent Resident Alien)
required documentation must be submitted with the visa application. The
Visa Office is unable to accept supplementary mailings from applicants
who forgot to include some or all of the required documentation or other
Each applicant for
visa revalidation in the Visa Office must pay the nonrefundable
$100 nonimmigrant visa application processing fee and submit:
- One Nonimmigrant
Visa Application, Form DS-156, completed in English, with the
applicant’s original signature. (A parent should sign for an applicant
under age 14.) All questions on the DS-156 must be answered.
<>Applicants MUST give their U.S. home telephone
number in the space numbered item 16. The principal applicant MUST give
his/her telephone number in the space numbered item 16. The form
must be typed or printed. Please spell out the month of birth (i.e.,
write "January 2," not 1/2 or 2/1). If the DS-156 is incomplete
or improperly filled out, the passport(s) will be returned without visa(s).
The Visa Office accepts only the February
2003 version of the DS-156. The electronic version is completed
on-line and, when printed, generates a one-dimensional bar code on the
first page and a two-dimensional bar code on a separate third page.
Ensure that you print that third page and attach it to the rest of the
applicaiton. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the electronic
version of the DS-156. The Visa Office does not provide copies of the
- One Supplemental
Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-157, for all male applicants
between the ages of 16 and 45, regardless of nationality, in addition
to the DS-156. The DS-157 must be typed or printed. All questions
on the DS-157 must be answered. Applicants whose native language
is not written in the English alphabet should print their names in their
native language in item 3 of the DS-157. The
Visa Office does not provide copies of the DS-157.
- One photograph
stapled or glued to the DS-156 in the designated space,
which meets the nonimmigrant photograph
requirements. Do not submit a photograph in a glassine or other
type of envelope. Staple or glue one photograph to the DS-156 in designated
- A passport
valid for travel to the U.S. and valid at least six months beyond the
visa application date (including Visa Office processing time). If more
than one person is included in the passport, each person applying for
a visa must submit a visa application. You must present the passport
bearing your most recent E, H, I, L, O, or P visa. Each applicant receives
an individual visa, and each Machine Readable Visa (MRV) covers a full
passport page. Therefore, passports must contain a blank, unmarked visa
page for each U.S. visa to be placed in the passport. Remove extraneous
pieces of paper (slips of paper with phone numbers, old airline boarding
passes, etc.) from the passport. You may submit a passport in a protective
- The original or
a certified copy of Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record
annotated by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border
Protection (formerly INS) immigration inspector from your most recent
admission to the U.S. Please staple the I-94 to a page in your current
- Visa issuance
reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa
Reciprocity Tables to determine if you must pay a visa issuance
of India, please note:
The reciprocal visa issuance fee in the H, L, O, and P categories
is $50 per applicant. Reciprocity fees are in addition to the $100
visa application processing fee that each applicant must pay.
of the United Kingdom, please note:
There is a reciprocal visa issuance fee in the E-2 and L-2 categories
of $105 per applicant. Reciprocity fees are in addition to the $100
visa application processing fee that each applicant must pay.
- A prepaid
courier service airbill and envelope or a self-addressed stamped envelope
for return of the passport and other documents. The Visa Office
does not endorse the use of any particular commercial courier service.
If using the U.S. Postal Service, the Postal Service recommends a padded
envelope for passport return. A family should submit one courier airbill/envelope
or one self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of their documents.
Please use your address as the “from” address on the airbill
or the self-addressed envelope. Please ensure that you have written
your courier company account number or that you have given the courier
company a valid credit card number on the airbill.
for E, H, I, L, O, or P visas must include additional documentation
as noted in the links at the end of this instruction.
(spouse and/or children) of the principal alien who are applying separately
from the principal alien must submit all required documentation requested
above and in the specific links for E, H, I, L, O, or P visas (found
at the end of this instruction), as well as certified copies of the
principal alien’s current visa and I-94.
Payment of visa revalidation
fees may be made by bank draft, corporate check, or money order, payable
to the U.S. Department of State. The Visa Office does not accept payment
by cash, credit card, or personal check. Payment for the visa application
processing fee and the visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable, may
be combined in one bank draft, corporate check, or money order. A family
may submit one bank draft, corporate check, or money order for all visa
application processing fees and visa issuance reciprocity fees. Payment
must be drawn on a U.S. bank and must be in U.S. currency.
to Send Visa Revalidation Applications
applications <>MUST be sent
to one of the addresses below. The first address is for the U.S. Postal
Service and the second is for all courier services.
US Department of State/Visa
P. O. Box 952099
St. Louis, MO 63195-2099
US Department of State/Visa (Box 2099)
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101-1200
I visa applicants
only, please see this link for information on where to send your visa
Visa And Documentation Return
Issued visas and other
documents (I-94s, employment letters, I-797s, etc.) are returned to you
via your self-addressed, stamped envelope or prepaid courier airbill and
courier envelope. On the courier airbill, please ensure that you have
written your courier company account number or a valid credit card number.
Ensure that you make a note of your airbill or other tracking number.
You will need this information if you want to contact the courier for
status information. The Visa Office is unable to provide this information
to you if you misplace it.
The U.S. Postal Service
and the major courier service companies pick up envelopes and packages
from the Visa Office’s office building daily. The Visa Office cannot
guarantee that the U.S. Postal Service or any courier service company
will pick up envelopes on any given day, or when the courier service company
or the U.S. Postal Service will dispatch the envelopes. The Visa Office
does not track outgoing envelopes or packages.
The Visa Office
will refuse your revalidation application under section 221(g) of the
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and return your documentation
to you if your application lacks any, some, or all of the following:
- A properly completed
Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-156;
- A Supplemental
Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-157, for all male applicants
aged 16 to 45, regardless of nationality;
- Visa photograph
that does not meet our nonimmigrant
visa photo requirements;
fee payment, if required;
- A passport bearing
the most recent visa in the same classification as the visa being applied
- A passport that
will expire in less than six months;
- An application
sent more than 60 days before expiration of the current visa or more
than one year after the expiration of the previous visa;
- An employment
letter that it is not comprehensive and does not describe the applicant’s
duties in detail;
- I-797 Notice of
Approval or I-94 from your most recent admission to the U.S.
The Visa Office may
refuse any visa revalidation application if, in the Visa Office’s
judgment, the application is not clearly approvable by the Visa Office.
Because the Visa Office revalidates visas issued by a U.S.
embassy or consulate abroad, the Visa Office does not interview visa
applicants. If the Visa Office determines that an application is not clearly
approvable in the Visa Office, per U.S. visa regulations, the applicant
will require an interview with a consular officer at a U.S. embassy or
If the Visa Office
cannot revalidate your visa due to a lack of documentation (incomplete
DS-156, no DS-157, no I-94 or I-797, employment letter that is not comprehensive,
etc.), your passport and other documentation will be returned to you using
your airbill/courier envelope or self-addressed stamped envelope. The
Visa Office does not retain passports, I-94s, or other documentation in
a visa revalidation application pending receipt of properly completed
application forms, correct fees, etc. You will receive a form stating
what documents are required to continue your application. Please
follow the instructions carefully when resubmitting your application.
Return the Visa Office form with your resubmission to the address on the
form. Do not enclose your passport and other documents in an inner envelope
within your mailing envelope. Ensure that your visa
photograph is properly glued or stapled to the DS-156.
and photo and the DS-157 (if applicable)
are not returned with your documentation if your application is refused.
Therefore, you must include a new completed and signed DS-156 with photograph
and DS-157 (if applicable) when you resubmit the complete application
If the Visa Office
informs you that your application for visa revalidation cannot be processed
in the Visa Office, you must make a new visa application at a U.S.
embassy or consulate abroad. You will be required to pay a new nonimmigrant
application processing fee.
If you paid a visa
issuance reciprocity fee but the Visa Office cannot revalidate your visa,
the reciprocity fee will be refunded by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The $100 nonimmigrant visa application fee is not refundable.
to the discontinuation of domestic visa revalidation services, all section
221 (g) refusals must be received in the Revalidation Division in Washington,
DC by September 30, 2004.