Ask the Consul – November 2019

Dear U.S. Consul,

Question: My visa is expiring soon, and I would like to continue traveling to the United States after it expires. How far in advance of the expiration date should I apply for a new visa?

Answer:  Thank you for your inquiry. U.S. visas are valid for travel and application for entry into the United States until the expiration date printed on the visa. You may apply for a new visa at any time before or after your current visa expiration date.

The Embassy traditionally experiences a surge in applications and an increase in demand for appointments during holiday months and school vacation periods. The wait time during these periods may vary from a few days to a few weeks.

We encourage applicants to apply well in advance of the expected travel date to avoid unnecessary delays in your travel plans, should your visa processing take longer than anticipated. Applicants should refrain from purchasing airline tickets until they receive their passports with the visa.

If approved for a visa on the day of the interview, the passport will usually be returned in seven  to ten working days, excluding local and U.S. holidays.

We encourage B1/B2 Tourist and Business Visa applicants who qualify to use the Renewal Interview Waiver or Age Interview Waiver processes to mail their application packet to the Embassy for processing. Those applications are usually processed within 15-17 business days.  Applications cannot be hand delivered to the Embassy.

By applying early and keeping your visa current, you will avoid the hassles and disappointment of trying to get your visa renewed in a hurry, or possibly not being able to travel to the United States as early as you would like.

Once processing is completed, passports are returned by courier to the address selected in the application. Passports cannot be collected at the Embassy.

More detailed information about the overall visa application process is available online at: or You can also email inquiries to