Visa Renewal


Important Notice:

  • As of October 10, 2017, all visa renewal applications from Quang Nam and provinces north will be sent to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. All other renewal applications will be sent to the Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
    Renewal applicants from Quang Nam and provinces north should submit their Form DS-160 visa application electronically to Hanoi. Applicants from Quang Ngai and provinces south should submit their Form DS-160 visa application electronically to Ho Chi Minh City. 
  • The mail-in renewal program requires 8-10 business days.  Before mailing your passport to the Embassy or Consulate General, please ensure that you will not need it in the next two weeks.  If your travel is urgent, you may wish to consider requesting an expedited appointment.
  • The Interview Waiver Confirmation Page MUST be included with your mail-in application, or your renewal will not be processed.  Please bring two copies of the Interview Waiver Confirmation Page: one copy must be included with your visa application and one copy must be submitted at the EMS location. 
  • Please submit only the required documents included in the checklist . Although we will attempt to return any original documents we receive, the Embassy and Consulate General are not responsible for any loss of additional unrequired documents.
  • Kindly remove plastic or leather covers from your passport.

On this page:

Who is eligible to renew by mail?

You are qualified for the mail in renewal program if you meet ALL criteria below:

  • You do not need to use your passport within the next eight to ten business days.
  • You are a Vietnamese citizen, or a resident of Vietnam with evidence of your residency in Vietnam.
  • You are physically present in Vietnam.
  • You have an U.S. non-immigrant visa which is still valid or has expired less than 12 months ago AND you are applying for another visa in the same category. The 12 month period is counted from the expiration date of your prior visa to the date which your visa renewal application arrives at the Embassy or Consulate. You should consider this timeline and apply well in advance to make sure you are still qualified for this program.
  • You were not refused a visa at your last interview.
  • Your prior visa was not lost, stolen or revoked and you can submit your passport with your prior visa.
  • Your prior visa must have been issued to you when you were age 14 or older, and your fingerprints must have been collected. Note: The U.S. Embassy and Consulate did not start collecting 10 fingerprints until November 7, 2007. If your previous visa was issued before this date you may not have submitted 10 fingerprints. If your previous visa was issued before your 14th birthday and you are age 14 or older now, 10 fingerprints have not been submitted and you are not eligible to apply for a visa by mail. If your previous visa was issued before your 14th birthday and you are currently still under 14 years old, you are eligible to renew your visa by mail even though your fingerprints have not been collected.
  • For F and M visa renewals, you must either (a) continue participation in the same major course of study even if at a different institution; or (b) attend the same institution even if in a different major course of study.
  • For J visa renewals, you must continue participation in the same exchange visitor program, with the same Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) number from the previously issued visa.
  • Your most recent visa does not have "Clearance Received" written on it, and
  • The name, date of birth, place of birth and nationality on your passport are the same as the ones on your previous visa.
  • You did not answer “YES” to any question in Security and Background of the DS-160 application form.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements should schedule an online appointment for a visa interview. For information on scheduling an online appointment, please go to: How to apply

What do I need to submit?

  • Passport: Your passport must have at least two blank pages for the visa and at least six months validity.
  • Old passport with most recent U.S. visa (if not in currently valid passport),
  • Copy of birth certificate or national ID (if your passport lists only the year of birth),
  • DS-160 confirmation page with barcode, completed and submitted online.
  • One 5cm x 5cm photo taken on a white background, without glasses, with your ears visible, within the last six months.
  • Interview Waiver Confirmation Page.
  • Applicants who are not Vietnamese are required to send evidence of their legal residence in Vietnam (e.g., copies of residence permit, work permit, etc.)
For students and exchange visitors only:
  • Original Signed I-20 or DS-2019 form
  • Complete academic transcripts from U.S. schools.
  • SEVIS fee paid.
For petition-based visa applicants only:
  • Original or copy of I-797
  • Original form I-129S (for Blanket L applicants and their dependents)

Children Under 14:

  • Copies of parents’ passport biographic pages or national ID cards,
  • Copies of parents’ current and/or previous U.S. visas.

How to Apply

Step 1

Complete the non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2

Log-in to our online applicant system and create a profile to pay the visa application (MRV) fee. Once logged in, choose “Schedule appointment”. As you go through the process you will answer the Interview Waiver questions which will evaluate your eligibility to apply for a visa without an interview.

Step 3

After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to pay the visa fee. Upon qualifying you will receive detailed instructions of how to deliver your documents. You will need three pieces of information in order to register online:

  • Your passport number
  • The receipt number from your payment receipt. (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
Step 4
  • Print out your Interview Waiver Confirmation Page, which contains a barcode, your name, and passport number.  You will need two copies of the Interview Waiver Confirmation page when you are ready to mail in your application.
  • Gather your DS-160 confirmation page, current and previous passports, photo, and a letter explaining your travel purpose and itinerary. Depending on the visa category, you may require additional documentation and a reciprocity fee. Please refer to your specific visa category page for additional required documents.
Step 5

Go to one of the designated courier’s locations with your Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter and all required documents. Courier staff will provide an envelope for you to put the passports and documents in. Please do not staple any documents together. Each applicants’ passports and documents must be put in a separate envelope. You must then hand over the envelope to an employee of the Post Office and request that your visa application be sent to the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City or to the Embassy in Hanoi. You will be provided a receipt containing the tracking number. There is no charge for this service.

To view EMS, document mailing locations, click here

Step 6

EMS will deliver your documents to the Embassy or Consulate.

Step 7

At the end of the visa adjudication process, EMS will return your documents and your passport to you at the chosen document delivery address in your profile. You can change the delivery address by accessing your profile. If issued, your passport will contain your visa.

FAQs for Mail-in Visa Renewal Program

What is the Mail-in Visa Renewal Program?

  • The Mail-in Visa Renewal Program offers the opportunity to renew your visa without attending an interview. (Note:  The Consular section reserves the right to require an interview of any applicant in order to confirm his or her continued eligibility for a U.S. visa).
  • Most cases are processed and returned within 8-10 business days.
  • Secure mailing of your passport to the Consular section and back to your address is included in the visa application fee.

What kind of photo should be included?

What if I don’t have my old passport and visa?

  • You will not be eligible for Mail-in Visa Renewal Program. You will need to make an appointment and come for an interview.

I qualify for the mail-in renewal program, but my child has never had a visa before. Can I mail in my child’s application along with mine?

  • If your child has not had a visa before, you will need to make an appointment for your child and come in with your child for the interview.

I want to apply for the mail-in renewal program, but need my passport urgently for travel to another country – what should I do?

  • You should wait until you return from your trip to mail in your renewal package.

 Can I renew a B1/B2 visa in my Official passport? Do I need to submit a Diplomatic Note?

  • Yes, you can renew your B1/B2 visa in your official passport. A Diplomatic Note is not required for a B1/B2 visa.

Should I mail in other supporting documents such as my family book, diploma certificate, and birth certificate?

  • No, you should not. You should only mail in the required documents listed on the website.

 What might speed up the time it takes for my renewal to be processed?

  • Make sure your renewal packet is complete. Check here for documents needed.
  • Upload a good quality digital photo that meets the requirements.
  • Print the DS-160 confirmation page with a laser printer for better barcode quality.
  • If you have several previous U.S. visas in different old passports, submit only your last previous visa.
  • Be sure to include your Interview Waiver Confirmation Page. This is proof that you have paid the visa application fee.