Renew My Visa

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Repeat travelers to the United States may qualify to renew their visas without appearing for an interview. This process allows qualifying applicants to submit their application via mail (except for those who apply at the U.S. Consulate in Naha) if they meet the following qualifications.


  • You are in Japan
  • You have never had an application for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) be denied.
  • You are NOT a national of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.
  • You have NOT been arrested in Japan, the United States, or any other country
  • Your previous visa was NOT annotated “Clearance Received” or “Waiver Granted”.
  • The visa you are renewing is the same visa category as the previous visa which is still valid, or has been expired for less than 48 months (this policy is in effect until December 31, 2021).
  • Your name, date of birth and nationality are the same in your previous visa and current passport.
  • Your previous visa was issued after you reached 14 years of age.
  • You are applying for your visa at the same location where your previous visa was issued. The previous visa states the issuing post in the top left corner. 
    Note: If you previously applied in Sapporo, please send your application to Tokyo. If you previously applied in Fukuoka, please send your application to Osaka.
  • You are renewing one of the following visas AND meet each of the requirements:
    • B1/B2 visas: Temporary Visitor for Business & Pleasure
    • C1/D visas: Crewmember
    • I visas: Journalist and Media
    • J visas: Exchange Visitor (Continue participation in the same exchange visitor program, with the same SEVIS number from the previously issued visa)
    • E1/E2 visas: Treaty Traders / Treaty Investor
    • O visas: Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics
    • P visas: Performing athlete, artist, entertainer
    • Q visas: International cultural exchange visitor
    • H visas: Specialty Occupation or Temporary Worker
    • L visas: Intra-company transferee *Blanket L-1 visa applicants are unable to renew visas by mail.

Please Note: Using the mail-in renewal process does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, you may be required to appear for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you submit an incomplete and/or inaccurate application, or if you do not meet the criteria listed above, you will be called for an interview or your application package may be returned to you.  You should submit your application well in advance of your planned travel due to the possibility of a visa interview. Average processing time is 10 business days.

How to Apply

Step 1 
Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully and complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment. 

Step 2 
Once you have determined the correct visa type and completed the DS-160, please log in to your profile and start your application from “New Application / Schedule Appointment” And then answer the questions to determine if you are eligible to apply for a visa by mail and select your document delivery option for return of your passport/document. 

Step 3 
Please read the instructions here and pay your visa application fee. Be sure to keep your receipt number. 

Step 4 
Log in to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. Once you are in the system, you will see your Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter on your dashboard. Please print the confirmation letter. 

Step 5 
Mail the documents shown below to the Embassy or Consulate via Japan Post LetterPack.

U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
Attn: Nonimmigrant Visa Service
1-10-5 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420 Japan
U.S. Consulate General Osaka
Attn: Visa Service
2-11-5, Nishitenma,
Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543

Note: Please put all family member's visa applications in one envelope.

  1. Your DS-160 confirmation page
  2. One color photograph 2"x2" (5cmx5cm) taken against a white background within the last 6 months (Please attach your photo upside down on the upper left corner of DS-160 confirmation page). More information about the required photo format here. *Please note:  eyeglasses are not allowed in photos.
  3.  Your current passports and any passport that was valid within the past 10 years (You must mail in passports containing a previous U.S. visa.)

  4. Required supporting documents for the type of your visa (See here  for the Visa Types)

Requirements for Submission

Please refer to your specific visa category page for required and supporting documents. Please also note the following points:

  • If reciprocity fees are required, please do not pay the fee until you are notified by the Embassy or Consulate. We will contact you when you need to pay.
  • All applicants must be physically present in Japan. An application cannot be sent by international mail to be processed. Applicants who entered Japan using facial or fingerprints recognition automated gates are required to submit proof that they are physically present in Japan. If the evidence is not sufficient, applicants may be required to appear for an interview.

Track Visa Renewal Documents

To track documents you mailed to the Embassy or Consulate, please keep the peel-off tracking sticker (Sender to Retain) provided on the LetterPack and use the Trach & Trace Service.