Renew My Visa/Apply By Mail

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Overview

Each United States visa application must be reviewed by a Consular Officer. However, some applicants qualify for a waiver of the interview requirement, eliminating the need to visit the Consular Section. Requesting an interview waiver does not guarantee visa issuance. We require some applicants to appear for an in-person interview.

It is important to know that your visa may still be valid even if the passport it is in expires. You can travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport.

Qualifications

Applicants younger than 13 or older than 80 years of age may be eligible for a visa interview waiver.

You may be eligible to apply for a new visa or renew your visa at the United States Embassy Bern without an interview if you meet the following conditions:

  • Your visa was issued at the United States Embassy in Bern at age 14 or older;
  • You are physically present in Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time of application;
  • You have never been refused a visa;
  • Your visa application has never been subject to additional administrative processing;
  • Your United States visa is still valid or it expired fewer than 12 months ago;
  • You are applying for the same visa category (you can find this information directly above your nationality on the far right side of the visa);
  • If you are a student (F or M visa), you are continuing in the same program at the same institution;
  • If you are an exchange (J visa) visitor, you must have the same SEVIS number;
  • You are not renewing an E Visa;

Supporting Documentation

  • A short cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip to the United States
  • An undamaged passport valid for at least six months beyond the holder's period of stay in the United States with at least one blank page – the six month requirement does not apply to Swiss and Liechtenstein passports.
  • If you still have a valid visa in your expired passport, you must also send the expired passport.
  • If your previous passport has been lost or stolen, provide a police report documenting the incident.
  • One Photograph: 51mm x 51mm color photograph, less than 6 months old, against a white background. The image must contain the full face, neck, and shoulders of the applicant in frontal view with a neutral, non-smiling expression and no glasses.
  • A copy of your Swiss or Liechtenstein residency permit
  • Evidence of funds to cover your expenses while in the United States
  • The DS-160 application form confirmation page
  • Documentation of name change, if applicable

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 “New Application/Schedule appointment”. Answer the interview waiver questions.

Step 3

After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to enter an address where you want your passport and visa to be delivered and prompted to pay the visa fee. If qualified for an interview waiver, you will receive detailed instructions of how to deliver your documents. You will need three pieces of information in order to register online:

  • The CGI reference number from your Visa Fee receipt. (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
  • Your passport number
Step 4

When you are ready to submit the application documents, send an e-mail to support-switzerland@ustraveldocs.com. We will send you a postage-paid mailing label to send your application documents to the Embassy.

You should receive the e-mailed label within two business days.

Step 5

Send your documents by Swiss Post to the Embassy. Click here for post office locations. Swiss Post will give you a receipt showing the tracking number. Swiss Post will deliver your documents to the Embassy.

Step 6

At the end of the visa adjudication process, Swiss Post will return your passport and visa to the document delivery address in your profile. You can change the delivery address by accessing your profile.

You application will be processed within seven business days of receipt. Pick up is not possible.
If you do not qualify for an interview waiver, you will be notified by mail to schedule an appointment to apply for a visa in person. Your documents will be returned to you by mail.

Apply for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa