Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Revalidating (or Renewing) Visas in the United States
Your visa represents permission to apply to enter the United States. Most foreign nationals require a valid visa to be admitted to the United States. If you have a visa that has expired or will expire, and you wish to travel internationally, you may apply to revalidate or renew your visa while remaining in the United States. You may also choose to apply for a new visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad that processes nonimmigrant visa applications.
If you hold a visa in the E, H, I, L, O, and P visa category, you may apply for visa revalidation in the same visa category without leaving the country. This process is called revalidation, reissuance or renewal of your visa. The revalidation application is sent to the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Office.
To be eligible for visa revalidation, your visa must have less than 60 days of validity, or be expired for less than one year. If you send your visa for revalidation with more than 60 days of validity, or if it has been expired for more than one year, your visa will be returned without revalidation. You must also have the same nationality as when your previous visa was issued.
You are ineligible for visa revalidation if you are a national of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan, the seven countries currently designated as state sponsors of terrorism. Applicants from these countries must apply for new visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
The following visa categories can not be revalidated while in the United States:
You must submit all required documents with your visa revalidation application. Your application must include the following to be accepted for revalidation:
If the spouse or children of the principal alien are applying separately from the principal alien, each must submit all required documentation, 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.
Send your visa revalidation application 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
US Department of State/Visa (Box 2099)
For “I” visa applicants only, send your visa revalidation application to:
U.S. Postal Service
Department of State
All Courier Services
Department of State
Processing of a visa revalidation application currently takes between 2 and 4 months from the date you submit your application.
The Visa Office will not expedite visa re-issuance of a visa. If you anticipate an urgent need to travel, you should 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, you may withdraw your visa revalidation application.
Your passport with the newly issued visa and other documents (I-94s, employment letters, I-797s, etc.) will be returned to you via your self-addressed, stamped envelope or prepaid courier airbill and courier envelope. Make a note of your airbill or other tracking number if you want to contact the courier for status information.
If you have a valid visa in the appropriate category but have changed your employer since the issuance of your visa, you do not need to get a new visa just to reflect the name of your current employer. You may reenter the United States by showing your visa (even though it shows your previous employer) and the valid I-797 Notice of Approval from your new employer. The State Department’s Visa Office will not revalidate a visa to reflect a change of employer unless the visa will expire in sixty days or less.
If your application does not meet all of the Visa Office’s criteria for revalidation, or if there is any other reason why your application is not clearly approvable for revalidation, your visa revalidation application may be denied. You would then have to apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.
You must include all required documents at the time of submission, or your visa revalidation application will be denied. The Visa Office may also deny any visa revalidation application if the application is not clearly approvable, based on the judgment of the State Department official. If the Visa Office determines that an application is not clearly approvable, you will be required to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.
If the Visa Office cannot revalidate your visa, your passport and other documentation will be returned to you using your airbill/courier envelope or self-addressed stamped envelope. You will receive a form stating the reason for denial, or what documents are required to continue your application. Follow the instructions carefully, and resubmit your application to the address on the form. If your application is refused, you must submit a new DS-156 and photo and the DS-157 when you resubmit the complete application packet.
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.