Applying for a U.S. Visa Stamp

Visa application requirements and wait times can vary from one country to the next. Check the web site of the U.S. Embassy in the country to which you will travel for specific information and requirements and to schedule an interview. Allow enough time abroad for visa processing. Keep in mind that your visa process may be delayed if documents are missing or if the consular officer has additional questions. You can find the consular website at

Print our Important Travel Information page which includes this information and our travel checklist.

Review these ten points on what you should remember when applying to renew your visa: 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa

Documents Needed for Visa Renewal

Please note that you should review the U.S. consulate’s website for your home country for the required forms needed, fees, and other requirements.

F-1 and J-1 Students & Dependents
  • All I-20(s) or DS-2019(s)
  • Passport
  • Official Transcripts
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • (Graduate Students) Letter from your advisor explaining your academic research
  • Documentation of finances, which corresponds to your most recent I-20/DS-2019
  • If you are currently authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization – a photocopy of your EAD and job offer letter
  • Documents showing your “non-immigrant intent” (i.e. documents which help to prove your ties to your home country and verify that you have no intentions of immigrating to the U.S.)

J-1 Scholars & Dependents
  • All DS-2019s
  • Passport
  • Letter of invitation
  • Documentation of finances, which corresponds to your most recent DS-2019
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt

H-1B or O-1 Employees (and Dependents)
  • Most recent H-1B or O-1 approval notice
  • Passport
  • Copy of the I-129 petition
  • (for H-1B visa holders) Copy of the Labor Condition Application (LAC)
  • Original Degree Certificates/Certification of Evaluation (if necessary)
  • Original letter from your department confirming your continued employment

Processing Time Information

Processing times can vary from country to country. Please check the U.S. State Department’s website ( for the latest visa wait times and important news about visa processing.

Some applications will be subject to security clearances which in rare cases can cause delays. OIS cannot influence processing times for these clearance checks.