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Renew US visa before it expires

Question:

I have a visa and I've used it to travel to the US a few times. It expires in September 2010. I don't know when I'll travel to the US next, but when should I apply for a new one? Do I have to wait until the visa is expired to apply for a new one? Also, my cousin applied and didn't get through. How long does he have to wait before he can apply again?

Kaydan

in Morvant

Answer:

There is no mandatory waiting period. If you have a valid visa, then you do not need to wait until it expires to apply for a new visa. In fact, the Embassy recommends you apply for your new visa several months before your current one expires. That way, you can avoid any last-minute surprises on your way to the airport. If your visa expires sometime this year, then go ahead and make your appointment for an interview now, especially if you plan to travel this summer. You should know, the officer who interviews you will cancel your current visa, regardless of whether or not you receive a new one.

Likewise, if you applied for a visa and did not receive one, the decision about how soon to reapply is yours. There is no mandatory waiting period. But, if you were refused a visa, then the officer who interviewed you likely believed you were an intending immigrant and did not qualify for a visa. You must ask yourself whether or not enough has changed in your situation to justify the issuance of a visa. You may reapply as soon as you like, but we recommend you only do so if you believe there has been a significant change in your personal, professional, and economic situation that would warrant the issuance of a visa.

• Send your questions and comments to:

askUSconsultrinidad@state.gov

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