Most people working in the United States on visas remember having to apply for their initial U.S. visa. Booking an appointment, waiting in the lengthy security line, spending most of your morning at the U.S. Consulate, and then finally getting the quick interview to let you know that your visa has been approved. While most U.S. Consulates globally remain closed for standard visa appointments, more and more visa applicants in Australia are able to mail-in their visa renewal applications.
Specifically, the U.S. Consulates in Australia are allowing some individuals to mail-in their visa renewal applications after meeting certain criteria stated online through U.S. Travel Docs. Primarily, the visa applicant must:
- Be renewing the same type of visa class as your existing visa.
- Your current, existing visa has been valid within the last 24-months.
- You must be physically in the Consular jurisdiction.
- Your current visa has not been lost or stolen.
In the past, Consulates would require that applicants’ most recent visa be valid within the past 12-month period to qualify for a mail-in application. However, the U.S. Department of State has extended this requirement due to the global Consular closures and now states that your most recent visa should be valid within the past 24-months – meaning, the expiration of the applicant’s most recent visa did not expire more than 24-months before the current renewal.
Although the option to mail-in visa renewals is not available for those applicants physically in the United States; this is a valuable and efficient option to save time. Additionally, by mailing in your visa renewal application, this greatly helps visa applicants who may not live in Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth where the three U.S. Consulates are located. With domestic travel limitations, this can greatly assist applicants with the difficulty of traveling between states. and limit domestic travel within Australia from areas far from the three U.S. Consulates. Most importantly, having the option to mail-in your visa renewal application can be the only alternative to obtaining a visa renewal while the U.S. Consulates are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Consulates in Australia are currently allowing renewal by mail for B-1/B-2 visitor visas, F-1 student visas, and E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Visas. At the time of posting, the U.S. Consulates are not allowing renewal by mail for E-2 Investor Visas.
Our team of U.S. lawyers and immigration experts are happy to assist with mail-in visa applications. Please contact Nevett Ford Lawyers for a consultation or to move forward with your visa renewal.