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

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:

All visa applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You are a national or residency permit holder of Switzerland or Liechtenstein AND
  • You are physically present in Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time of the visa application AND
  • You have never been refused a visa or ESTA.

Additionally, all visa applicants must qualify for one of the following four Interview Waiver Programs (IWP):

  1. Standard Renewal
    • You are applying for the same visa class as your previous visa (you can find this information directly above your nationality on the far right side of the visa) AND
    • Your previous visa is still valid or expired less than 48 months ago AND
    • Your last visa was issued after December 31, 2007 and you were older than 14 years old.
    • Your nationality is the same for this visa application as you used for the previous visa application AND
    • In the annotation field, your previous visa does NOT show ANY of the following words: “Waiver”, “Clearance”, or “Blanket” 
    • If you are a student (F or M visa), you are continuing in the same program at the same institution

        2.   First time F, M, or academic J applicants

    • You are a passport holder of a VWP participating country AND
    • You have previously traveled to the U.S. on ANY visa category (i.e. B1/B2 visa), OR traveled to the U.S. on ESTA

        3.   First time H, individual L (not Blanket), O, P, Q applicants

    • You are a passport holder of a VWP participating country AND
    • You have previously traveled to the U.S. on ANY visa category (i.e. B1/B2 visa), OR traveled to the United States on ESTA

        4.   Age Waiver

    • The visa applicant is 13 or younger OR is 80 years of age or older.

Additional Information:

  • If you are subject to a reciprocity fee, you will be notified by the Consular Section with payment instructions.
  • The Consular Section reserves the right to request that an applicant appear in person for an interview after reviewing his or her application.

Supporting Documentation

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

You application will be processed within seven business days of receipt. 
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 as per your self-selected delivery option.

If you are subject to a reciprocity fee after issuance, then you will be notified by the Consular Section with payment instructions.

Apply for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa