Renew My Visa

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Overview

The U.S. visa application process is in many ways the same whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa. It is important to know that your visa may still be 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.

Interview Waiver procedure is available in order to expedite the visa application process. In most cases, using this service eliminates the need to come in for an interview. Like an interview, however, the use of the interview waiver procedure does not guarantee visa issuance. Further, we may, in some cases, after reviewing an application submitted, require a person to appear for an in-person interview.

Qualifications

You may be eligible to apply for a U.S. visa without an interview based on the categories below. If you qualify, you may be able to mail your application and supporting documents to the Embassy. Supporting documents are listed below. 

Qualification for Interview Waiver  Based on Age:

  • Children under 14 years of age, and applicants age 80 or older, may apply by mailing their application materials if they have not been previously found ineligible for a U.S. visa. Please see below in “Supporting Documentation" to ensure the correct documents are included with the application.
  • These applicants must be a citizen or resident of Finland and physically present in Finland.

Qualification for Interview Waiver  Based on Previous Visa Issuance:

  • Received a visa after January 1, 2008 and had their fingerprints taken
  • Are applying for a visa in the same category as the previous visa
  • Are applying for the new visa within 48 months of the expiration date of the old visa or the old visa is still valid
  • You have not been refused a visa that was not later overcome or denied an ESTA
  • You are a citizen or resident of Finland and physically present in Finland
  • Your previous visa is not marked with "clearance received" or "waiver granted".

Qualification for Interview Waiver for Students Applying Before December 31, 2022:

Are a first-time F, M, or academic J (student, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, specialist) visa applicants who are a national of a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country and have traveled to the United States under VWP (also known as ESTA) or;

   Have been previously issued any type of visa and are now applying for an F, M, or academic J (student, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, specialist) visa

  • You have not been refused a visa that was not later overcome or denied an ESTA
  • You are a citizen or resident of Finland and physically present in Finland
  • Your previous visa is not marked with "clearance received" or "waiver granted".

 Qualification for Interview Waiver for Some Petition-based Applicants

  • Are applying for an H-1, H-3, H-4, individual L, O, P or Q visa. Blanket L petitions do not qualify.
  • Have been previously issued a visa in any class or you have traveled to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (also known as ESTA).
  • You have not been refused a visa that was not later overcome or denied an ESTA
  • You are a citizen or resident of Finland and physically present in Finland
  • Your previous visa is not marked with "clearance received" or "waiver granted".

Qualification for Interview Waiver Based on Diplomatic, Government, and/or International Organization Affiliation

  • Foreign Government Officials traveling on official government business – A1, A2  visas
  • International Organizations Representatives (e.g. United Nations, World Bank) – G1, G2, G3, G4 visas
  • NATO Representatives and Military Personnel traveling on official business -NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, NATO-6 visas

Please see this page to find more information on how to apply for a diplomatic/official visa.

IMPORTANT: Please note that even if you meet the qualifications above, you still may be required to come to the Embassy for an interview or to pay outstanding fees. You will be informed by e-mail if this is the case.  

Supporting Documentation

All Applicants:

  • Passport.
  • The DS-160 application form confirmation page.
  • One Photograph: Two inches square (51mm x 51mm) color photograph, less than 6 months old, against a white background, full frontal view.
  • Application fee receipt number (or other document which shows that application fee has already been paid).
  • Interview Waiver (vahvistuskirje) confirmation page

Specific Applicants:

  • Children under 14 years old:
    • Extract from the Population Information System in Finland (virkatodistus) showing the child’s parents or legal guardians.
    • A written description of the child’s intended purpose of U.S. travel that includes contact information for the U.S. inviter and a description of his or her relationship to the child.
    • Copies of the parents’ passport biographic information pages OR national ID cards.
    • Copies of the parents' current and/or previous U.S. visas, if available.
    • Please note, if a parent or parents are applying in-person for a visa at the U.S Embassy, not through the drop-off service, the parent(s) may book an appointment in the child’s name and drop off the child's application at the time of their own interview.
  • F-1 and J-1 visa holders:
    • Research/study plans with information about your planned studies or research in the United States, including the name and e-mail address of your advising professor and/or the head of your department in the United States.
    • Evidence of financial support for your study or exchange program. Evidence may include: tuition payment receipts, evidence of scholarship or grant funding, bank statements showing sufficient funds for your intended length of stay, statements from your school, college, or university stating fees have been received by the institution, etc.
    • DS-2019 or I-20 form
    • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee receipt
    • Spouses also applying for F2 or J2 visas please submit proof of relationship to principal applicant such as a copy of a marriage certificate
  • First-Time Applicants Using Interview Waiver:
    • Submit evidence of previous travel to the United States. This may include passport stamps showing entry into the United States or a copy of your I-94 travel history and passport numbers. Applicants can view their S.S. travel history here.
  • Petition-Based Applicants:
    • Copy of approved 797 form
    • You may submit evidence of your employment such as an invitation letter from your employer, correspondence with employer, or proof of qualifications
  • B1/B2 Business or Tourism travelers: 
    • May include a copy of an invitation letter, itinerary, proof of personal finances, or applicant’s resume with the application. 
  • C-1/D applicants: 
    • Provide a current joining letter (original copy preferred) and photocopy of your work ID.

Please review the requirements for your applicable visa category to determine other essential and recommended documentation.

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 drop-box questions which will evaluate your eligibility to apply for a visa without an interview.

Step 3

After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to pay the visa fee. If you are eligible to apply for a visa without an interview, you will receive detailed instructions on how to deliver your documents. 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 4

INTERVIEW WAIVER applicants are required to attach a self-addressed postage paid return envelope to their mail-in application.
Families may provide one return envelope for the return of passports of all family members.

Embassy’s mailing address:
Consular Section – Visa Unit
Itäinen Puistotie 14 B
00140 Helsinki
Finland
We recommend the following options by Posti: registered envelope or an express envelope. You can find more information on both options below.
Registered letter:
 https://www.posti.fi/en/private/letters-and-mail/send-a-letter-or-postcard/domestic-letters-and-cards/registered-letter
Express letter: https://www.posti.fi/en/private/letters-and-mail/send-a-letter-or-postcard/domestic-letters-and-cards/express-letter
A pickup option is not available for interview waiver applicants.