Ask the Consul – March 2022

Common Questions about Non-Immigrant Visa Renewals

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí: COLUMNA “PREGÚNTELE AL CÓNSUL” MARZO 2022.(PDF122KB)

Q: Is the Embassy currently processing applications for non-immigrant visa renewals?
A: Yes. Currently, we are accepting a limited number of visa renewal applications on a weekly basis.

Q: Do I need an interview or is there a Drop Box System?
A: If you are a Guyanese national renewing a visitor (B1/B2), Transit (C1/D) or Student (F/M/J) visa that has expired within the last 48 months, you may qualify to forego your visa interview if certain conditions are met. However, while an interview with a Consular officer may not be required, you will still need to complete a DS-160 application form, pay the visa processing fee, and apply for an appointment to submit your application and passport to the Embassy for visa processing. Please follow the complete instructions under “Renew a Visa” at

Q: What are the conditions to qualify for an Interview-Waived Appointment to renew my visa?
A: To be eligible to forego the visa interview, you must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be a Resident or National of Guyana
  • Your previous visa was issued in Guyana
  • Have a valid U.S. visa or one that expired within the last 48 months
  • Your previous visa was not lost, stolen, cancelled, or revoked
  • You were not refused on your last U.S. visa application
  • You have never been arrested or convicted of a crime; deported from or denied entry to the United States.

Q: What is the wait time for an appointment to submit my renewal application?
A: Given our current demand and reduced non-immigrant visa processing capacity, applicants should be prepared to experience a longer than usual wait time for an appointment. We encourage you to plan your travel far in advance. Our current wait time for a visa renewal appointment is approximately 3 – 4 months and this will continue to fluctuate based on demand and our available resources. Applicants will be able to see the next appointment date when generating their visa processing fee payment slip.

Q: Do I have to wait until my visa expires before I apply for a renewal?
A: No. You may choose to apply to renew your visa at any time before it expires. Given the current wait time, you may wish to consider early application based on your future travel needs.

Q: I need to travel soon, but my visa will expire after I arrive in the U.S. Do I need to renew it before I travel?
A: No. Non-immigrant visas are valid until the date of expiry. This means that a visa holder may seek to enter the United States at any time before the visa expires.
When a CBP officer at the Port of Entry admits you into the United States for a specific period, s/he will note your authorized period of stay on your admission stamp. You will be able to remain in the United States during your authorized period of stay, even if your visa expires during the time that you are in the United States.

Q: How long will it take to process my renewal application and return my passport?
A: Currently, the processing time is two (2) weeks from the date of submitting the application to the Embassy.

Q: I was granted an interview-waived appointment but after submitting my application, I received a call to appear to be interviewed. Why is this?
Eligibility for an interview waiver does not automatically entitle an applicant to a waiver of the visa interview. If the reviewing consular officer determines that he/she needs more information to assess your eligibility for a visa, you will be contacted and asked to appear for an interview.

“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. Detailed information about visas and travel can be viewed at, and Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently, and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information. Please contact our Visa Information Service Center on toll free numbers: 1-877-246-6788 or 703-988-5765 if you have general visa questions.”