Renew My Visa

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Overview

In an effort to improve customer service, the U.S. government allows nonimmigrant visa applicants to renew their visas without an interview under the Interview Waiver Program. This program is not for first-time applicants. It is only for certain applicants renewing their visas and some restrictions may also apply.

Applicants renewing a visitor (B1/B2) visa may be eligible for the Interview Waiver Program (IWP). Those qualifying for this special program will not be required to appear in person in the Consular Section but will still need to complete the visa application forms and pay relevant visa fees.   Using IWP does not guarantee visa issuance.  After reviewing the application documents, Embassy Colombo reserves the right to request that an applicant appear in person for an interview.  Applicants should submit  their documents well in advance of planned travel to allow for the possibility of a visa interview.

Those who do not qualify for the IWP should follow the instructions to schedule an appointment using regular visa processing.

Additionally, some governments allow their citizens to travel with a valid visa in an expired passport, provided the traveler also has a valid passport. If your government allows travel with a valid visa and a combination of an expired and valid passport, then the U.S. government will allow you to travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport.

Eligibility Criteria

If you are applying for a B1/B2 visa, you may submit your visa application with supporting documents and passport as listed in the confirmation letter at the inspection room in front of the US Embassy in Colombo, from 10:30am to 12:00 noon on any business day (Monday through Friday) mornings, and proceed without a consular interview if you meet all of the qualifications:

INTERVIEW WAIVER PROGRAM "DROP-BOX" CHECKLIST

Applicants who meet ALL of the requirements listed below can use the interview waiver program to renew their visas.  

  • Applicant must be a citizen of Sri Lanka or the Maldives and residing there for at least the last two years.
  • The applicant has previously provided 10 fingerprints at U.S. Embassy in Colombo (previous visa was issued after April 2008);
  • Applicant must be between 14 and 79 years old;
  • The previous U.S. visa must be currently valid, or must have expired within the last 12 months;
  • The applicant must be applying for the exact same type of visa (B1/B2);
  • Previous visa must not have been lost, cancelled, or stolen;
  • All bio-data on form must be exactly the same as on the current DS160 application as it was on the prior DS160 application;
  • Applicant must have complied with all U.S. immigration laws and regulations while in the U.S.;
  • Applicant must have traveled to U.S. on previous visa. 

How To Apply

Step 1

For Nonimmigrant Visa applicants:

Determine your visa type by reading Common Nonimmigrant Visas. Each visa type explains the qualifications and application items. Choose the visa type that applies to your situation.

Step 2

The next step is to complete the  DS-160 Form. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. If you need assistance, please consult an immigration lawyer or translator. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment.

Step 3

Once you have determined the correct visa type and completed the DS-160, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in U.S. dollars and local currency.

To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment. You will create a profile and must keep your receipt number.

Step 4

After the completion of your DS160 and payment of visa fees, all applicants will log back on the system. Applicants will be asked a series of questions to confirm their eligibility for the IWP.   If qualified, you will be directed to a “drop-box confirmation” page and instructions for continuing with the IWP. If you do not qualify you will be directed to instructions for scheduling your in-person visa interview appointment.

Step 5

If you meet the requirements for the Interview Waiver Program, you will need to submit only the following documents in a sealed envelope with your name on one side and “Attn: Consular Section; Interview Waiver Program” written on the other side of envelope at the inspection room of US Embassy Colombo (if you submit additional documents, you may be called for an interview rather than processed under IWP). The drop off time is  from 10:30am to 12 noon on any business day (Monday through Friday) mornings.    

  • Your current passport with a minimum validity of at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States;
  • Your most recent previous passport containing your previous visa (please do not send in all previous passports);
  • The DS-160 non-immigrant visa application confirmation page;
  • Original fee receipt for the visa application fee from DFCC Bank;
  • One photograph with a white background, 2x2 inches, taken within the last six months (as per the  specifications mentioned on the website www.ustraveldocs.com/lk);
  •  Your printed drop-box confirmation, obtained on www.ustraveldocs.com/lk;
  • Proof of employment (ORIGINALS ONLY);
  • Proof of legal status of friend/family/sponsor in the U.S. (if applicable).
  • Maldivian applicants ONLY: all of the above documents as appropriate, as well as a BANK DRAFT for the visa fees.

Maldivian applicants: Please place all documents in a large, sealed envelope labeled with your name on one side and “Attn: Consular Section; Interview Waiver Program” written on the other side of envelope. Drop this envelope off at the Maldivian Foreign Ministry in Malé for the documents to be delivered to U.S. Embassy Colombo.

Applications with missing documents may result in visa processing delay. If additional information is needed to process your case, you will be informed by phone or email.

Step 6

Document Pick up: Documents and passports will be returned when the visa is issued. The visas are generally ready for pick up in as little as four (4) business days. 

Applications that are dropped off on Monday morning are often ready for pick up Thursday afternoon.  You can check your application status at https://ceac.state.gov/ceacstattracker/status.aspx and the status will say ‘Issued’ when the visa is ready for collection.

Collection times are 3:30 pm Monday – Thursday and 10:00 am on Fridays (excluding holidays).

Maldivian applicants: Please collect your documents from the Maldivian Foreign Ministry in Maldives upon completion.