Applying for a Visa without an Interview

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Overview

The U.S. visa application process is in many ways the same whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa. It is important to know that your visa may still be valid 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.

Drop-off visa services are available in order to expedite the visa application process. In most cases, using this service eliminates the need to come in for an interview. Like an interview, however, the use of the drop-off service does not guarantee visa issuance. Further, we may, in some cases, after reviewing an application submitted through the drop-off service, require a person to appear for an in-person interview.

Qualifications

You may be eligible to apply for a U.S. visa without an interview based on your age, or if you are renewing a prior U.S. visa that expired less than 48 months ago.

Qualification for Drop-off Service Based on Age:

  • Children under 14 years of age, and applicants age 80 or older, may apply through the drop-off service if they have not been previously found ineligible for a U.S. visa. Please see below in “Supporting Documentation" to ensure the correct documents are included with the application.
  • These applicants must be a citizen or resident of China.
  • These applicants must be physically present in China.

Qualification for Drop-off Service Based on Past U.S. Travel:

  • You may also be eligible to apply through the drop-off service if you were previously issued a U.S. visa.
  • Your prior visa must have been issued to you when you were age 14 or older, and your fingerprints must have been collected.
  • You must be a citizen or resident of China.
  • You must be physically present in China.
  • You must be applying for the exact same type of visa. For example, you had a B visa and wish to apply for another B visa.
  • If your previous visa was a B (temporary visitor for business/pleasure), C-1 (transit), D (crewmembers), F (students), J (exchange visitors), M (nonacademic students), or O (visitors with extraordinary abilities), the visa must be currently valid or must have expired within the last 48 months.
  • If you have two past visas in your passport, then you can apply for drop box for one of those two (the first one, or the second most recent one), as long as the one you are applying for has expired within the last 48 months.
  • If you are renewing an H-1, H-4, L, P-1 or P-2 visa, the visa must be currently valid or must have expired within the last 12 months.
  • You may not use the drop-off service if you are applying for a multiple-entry L visa (intra-company transferee). Only single-entry L visas will be issued through the drop-off service.
  • You may not use the drop-off service if you are applying for an I visa (journalist and media visa), P-3 visa (entertainment/performance visa), or H-2B visa (unskilled worker visa).
  • To be eligible for the drop-off visa renewal service, F-1 visa applicants must plan to continue attending the U.S. school or institution in which they are already enrolled, and J-1 visa applicants must plan to continue in an exchange program in which they are already participating.
  • If your visa is marked “clearance received,” you may not use the drop-off service unless you are renewing an F-1 or J-1 visa:
    • For F-1 visas marked "clearance received," the visa must have expired within the last 36 months.
    • For J-1 visas marked "clearance received," the visa must have expired within the last 12 months
  • You may not use the drop-off service if you lost your previous passport that had a valid or expired U.S. visa.

Supporting Documentation

All Applicants:
  • Passport: Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond their intended period of stay in the United States.
  • The DS-160 application form confirmation page.
  • One Photograph: Two inches square (51mm x 51mm) color passport/digital photograph, less than 6 months old, against a white background, full frontal view. Detailed guidelines for taking and submitting a quality photograph are on the U.S. Department of State website here. Your application will be refused if your photograph does not meet the requirements.
  • Application fee receipt number (or other document which shows that application fee has already been paid).
Specific Applicants:
  • Children under 14 years old:
    • A copy of the child's birth certificate.
    • A written description of the child’s intended purpose of U.S. travel that includes contact information for the U.S. inviter and a description of his or her relationship to the child.
    • Copies of the parents’ passport biographic information pages OR national ID cards.
    • Copies of the parents' current and/or previous U.S. visas, if available.
    • If traveling with a group, please also submit: the planned U.S. travel itinerary in English, together with a statement of the purpose of travel; a list of the group's travelers' names, dates of birth, and passport numbers; and a copy of the chaperone’s U.S. visa if available.
    • Please note, if a parent or parents are applying in-person for a visa at the U.S Embassy or Consulate General, not through the drop-off service, the parent(s) may book an appointment in the child’s name and drop off the child's application at the time of their own interview. An adult applicant may bring no more than five minor applications with them to their interview; if there are more than five minors in the group, those applications must be submitted through the drop-off service.
  • F-1 and J-1 visa holders:
    • Research/study plans with detailed information about your planned studies or research in the United States, including the name and e-mail address of your advising professor and/or the head of your department in the United States. Please click here for a sample research proposal/study plan.
    • A resume/CV that provides detailed information about your past academic and professional experience, including a complete list of all publications to which you have contributed. Please click here for a sample resume.
    • Official transcripts covering coursework at U.S. institutions.
    • An advisor’s biography, CV, or webpage printout (for graduate students who have already been assigned an advising professor at their U.S. institution).
  • Business travelers: Include a copy of the invitation letter, itinerary, and applicant’s resume with the application.
  • C-1/D applicants: Provide a current joining letter (original copy preferred) and photocopies of the following documents:
    • If you have a Chinese Seafarer’s Passport, copies of pages 1 (biopage and observations) and 32 (amendments).
    • If you have a Chinese Seafarer’s Identity Document, copies of pages 1-3 (biopage and observations) and all used pages from beginning to present.
  • Please review the requirements for your applicable visa category to determine other essential and recommended documentation.

How To Apply

If you meet the requirements above, follow the steps below to create a profile and continue the application process.

Step 1

Complete the non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. (You are required to upload a photograph taken within the last six months as a part of the DS-160 process. Detailed guidelines for taking and submitting a quality photograph are on the U.S. Department of State website here.)

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 drop-box 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. If you are eligible to apply for a visa without an interview, you will print out the “Application Drop-Off Letter ” which you will include with your visa application to be mailed.

Step 4

Gather your DS-160 confirmation page, MRV fee receipt, 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 CITIC Bank locations specified here. Take your Application Drop-Off Letter and all documents required with a mailing envelope to enclose your documents. A receipt with the tracking number will be given to you. There is no charge for this transaction.

Note: Please do not submit any documentation in a sealed envelope as this will be rejected by the US Embassy /Consulate. If you use an envelope to submit documents, it must remain open at all times.

Step 6

CITIC Bank will deliver your documents to the Consulate General Guangzhou.

Step 7

At the end of the visa adjudication process, the Consulate General Guangzhou will return your documents and your passport to you at the chosen document delivery address in your profile. When the documents are dispatched you will receive an email with the tracking number. You can change the delivery address by accessing your profile. If issued, your passport will contain your visa.

Important Note: The use of the mail-in service does not guarantee visa issuance. In some cases, applicants may still be required to appear for a visa interview at the Consulate General Guangzhou. Examples of this include incomplete and/or inaccurate applications.

Expedited Drop-Off Service Processing

If you have an unforeseen travel need and must travel to the United States within two weeks of your visa renewal application, you may submit a request for expedited processing. All applicants requesting expedited processing are required to first pay the MRV visa application fee and then submit the request through the call center or by sending an e-mail to support-china@ustraveldocs.com. Please provide documentary evidence to prove the urgency; requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Qualifications

Before you apply for expedited drop-off service processing, you must ensure that you have documentary evidence to prove the urgency. If it appears that you misrepresented the reasons for urgent travel, such facts will be noted on your case file and may adversely influence the outcome of your visa application.

For a complete description of the qualifications for expedited processing, please see the following page.

If approved, go to the CITIC Bank locations specified here with your expedite confirmation letter, your application drop-off letter, and all required documents with a mailing envelope to enclose your documents.