Renew My Visa/Apply by Mail

On this page:


Overview

The U.S. visa application process is the same whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa. It is important to know that your old visa is still valid if the passport it is in expires. You can travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport.

However, you may qualify for waiver of the interview requirement, eliminating the need to come to the Consular Section. Use of the mail-in service does not guarantee visa issuance. Further, we may, in some cases, after reviewing an application submitted by mail, require a person to appear for an in-person interview.

Qualifications

You may be eligible to apply for a new visa or renew your visa in Germany without an interview if you meet the following conditions:

All visa applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You are a national or residency permit holder of Germany AND
  • You are physically present in Germany at the time of the visa application AND
  • You have never been refused a visa or ESTA.

Additionally, all visa applicants must qualify for one of the following four Interview Waiver Programs (IWP):

  1. Standard Renewal
    • You are applying for the same visa class as your previous visa (you can find this information directly above your nationality on the far right side of the visa) AND
    • Your previous visa is still valid or expired less than 48 months ago AND
    • Your last visa was issued after December 31, 2007 and you were older than 14 years old.
    • Your nationality is the same for this visa application as you used for the previous visa application AND
    • In the annotation field, your previous visa does NOT show ANY of the following words: “Waiver”, “Clearance”, or “Blanket” 
    • If you are a student (F or M visa), you are continuing in the same program at the same institution
    • If you are an exchange (J visa) visitor, you must have the same SEVIS number

        2.   First time F, M, or academic J applicants

    • You are a passport holder of a VWP participating country AND
    • You have previously traveled to the U.S. on ANY visa category (i.e. B1/B2 visa) after your 14th birthday
    • OR traveled to the U.S. on ESTA after your 14th birthday

        3.   First time H, individual L (not Blanket), O, P, Q applicants

    • You are a passport holder of a VWP participating country AND
    • You have previously traveled to the U.S. on ANY visa category (i.e. B1/B2 visa) after your 14th birthday
    • OR traveled to the United States on ESTA after your 14th birthday

        4.   Age Waiver

    • The visa applicant is younger than 14 years old OR is older than 80 years of age.

The Consular Section reserves the right to request that an applicant appear in person for an interview after reviewing his or her application.

How to Apply

Step 1

Complete the non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2

Log-in to our online applicant system and create a profile to pay the visa application (MRV) fee. Once logged in, choose “Schedule appointment”. As you go through the process you will answer the questions which will evaluate your eligibility to apply for a visa without an interview. 

At the end of the registration process you will be prompted with the Interview Waiver confirmation which will contain information on how to submit the application documents to the US Consulate.

Step 3

After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to enter an address where you want your passport and visa to be delivered and prompted to pay the visa fee. If qualified for an interview waiver, you will receive detailed instructions of how to deliver your documents. You will need three pieces of information in order to register online:

  • Your passport number
  • The receipt number from your payment receipt. (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page

Note: If you accidentally opted for the Visa Renewal/Mail In option please click on New Application/Schedule Appointment on your profile and re-do the steps of the appointment scheduling process

Step 4

Gather your DS-160 confirmation page, current and previous passports, photo, and a letter explaining your travel purpose and itinerary. Depending on the visa category, you may require additional documentation and a reciprocity fee. Please refer to your specific visa category page for additional required documents.

Step 5

Drop off your documents at one of our partner's offices or send the application documents with UPS courier service (click here for UPS locations), according to the instructions provided on the Interview Waiver letter.

Step 6

The courier partner or UPS will deliver your documents to the Consular section.

Step 7

Once your application package is received by the Consular Section, a consular officer will make the final determination whether you qualify for visa issuance without a personal interview. In such a case, the Consulate will issue your visa and the passport will be returned to you by UPS, to the address indicated by you on the courier vendor's platform, or if you chose the personal pick-up option, you will be able to pick-up the passport at the Mail Boxes Etc. location in the city where the application was processed.

Please be advised that due to security procedures, the size of the Consulate and the high volume of incoming mail on a daily basis, mail receipt and processing may take several days before it reaches the relevant case worker after arrival at the U.S. Consulate. Only at that time can we begin processing of your application. Please note that our current processing time is approximately 10 business days.

Should an officer determine a personal interview is required, you will receive a visa interview appointment letter via email.