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Applying for a New U.S. Visa

A visa does not determine the length of time a foreign national may remain in the United States but must be valid at the time that the foreign national applies at the port-of-entry to enter the United States.

Expired U.S. Visas

It is not necessary to renew an expired visa unless the foreign national will travel outside of the U.S. after the visa has expired. Visa renewal cannot be done within the U.S.

If a foreign national will travel outside of the U.S. after the expiration date of the visa stamp, it will be necessary to apply for a new U.S. visa stamp before the foreign national returns to the U.S.

Foreign nationals should check with the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country in which they will apply for the new visa to determine the process for applying for a visa renewal. In many cases, the process is the same as the initial visa application process. In some cases, a visa interview is not required for applicants seeking the same type of visa that was initially granted to them.

Foreign nationals should plan carefully for possible delays when applying for a new visa. There is always a chance that a visa applicant may be subject to administrative processing (security clearances) which can sometimes add 4-6 weeks onto the average processing time of the visa.

Applying for a U.S. Visa in a Third Country

It is recommended that individuals applying for a non-immigrant visa do so in the country of their legal permanent residence.

If it is absolutely necessary for a foreign national to apply for a U.S. visa in a country in which they do not have citizenship or legal permanent residency, it is advised that they first contact their Immigration Specialist to discuss their plans. They should also check on the website for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that they plan to visit to determine if applications from third country nationals are accepted at that location. In many cases, appointment times may be prioritized for residents and citizens of that country.