Renew My Visa

On this page:


The U.S. visa application process is similar whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa although certain renewal applicants may qualify for waiver of the in-person interview. Even if your passport expires, as long as your U.S. visa is valid you can travel to the United States with your old passport containing a valid visa and your new, valid passport.

Applicants who meet the qualifications for visa renewal detailed below can forward their visa application documentation through Correos de Costa Rica (Drop Box).

All visa applicants must be physically present in Costa Rica even if an interview is not required and regardless of the applicant’s age or if the application is a renewal.


Effective March 11, 2021 through December 31, 2021, the United States Department of State has expanded the field of individuals eligible for visa renewal to those who have had a valid visa expire within the last 48 months. The previous requirement was to have had a valid visa expire within 24 months.

Accordingly, the Consular Section of the United States Embassy in Costa Rica may find you eligible for a visa renewal without scheduling a physical appointment at the Consulate if you meet the following criteria:

  • You wish to renew a B1, B2, B1/B2, C1, C1/D, I, O-1 or P-1 U.S. visa that is currently valid or has expired within the last 48 months.
  • You are a citizen or legal resident of Costa Rica
  • You have never resided unlawfully in the United States or otherwise violated U.S. laws.

You are not eligible for a visa renewal appointment if you meet any of the following criteria:

    • You have never had a U.S. visa.
    • Your last U.S. visa expired more than 48 months ago.
    • Your last valid visa was canceled or revoked.
    • Your previous visa was limited to a single entry or to a period of validity that was less than ten years.
    • You did not provide fingerprints during your previous visa application.
    • You wish to apply for a visa in a different visa class than your previous visa. For example, you had a B1/B2 visa, but now you wish to apply for a F-1 student visa. ​​
    • You do not hold a valid Costa Rican passport or residency card.
    • You are applying for more than one visa at the same time. For example, you are applying for both F and B1/B2 visas.
    • You lost your previous passport that had a valid or expired U.S. visa, or it was stolen. ​​

Visa Renewal Process through Drop Box

The approximate processing time for visa renewal applications through drop box is eight weeks.

1. Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form and print the confirmation page.

2. Pay the visa application fee here.

3. Use the online appointment system to register (Create Account), click on New Application/Schedule Appointment and enter the information requested. If you meet the visa renewal qualifications, print the Appointment Confirmation Letter and take it to the branch of Correos de Costa Rica on the date indicated on the confirmation letter. You will also have to attach the following documentation:

  • Current, valid passport. ​​
  • If the applicant's current or previous visa was issued in another passport, include that passport as well. ​​
  • DS-160 electronic application form confirmation. ​​
  • Current 5cmx5cm photograph taken within the last six months on a white background with no glasses. For information on photo requirements, please visit: ​​
  • Visa fee receipt. ​​
  • If the applicant is not a citizen of Costa Rica, include a copy of the applicant’s Costa Rican residency card.
  • For O-1 and P-1 visa applications, copy of your form I-797 petition approval notice. For C1/D visa applications, copy of the work contract.

​​4. The documentation for the application will be forwarded through Correos de Costa Rica to the U.S. Embassy. Applications with missing items will not be accepted.

Please note that consular officers always have the prerogative to require applicants to appear for interview. If the applicant requires an interview, the passport will be returned through Correos de Costa Rica with instructions to schedule an appointment.

​If you need assistance with your visa application or want to learn more about obtaining a visa to travel to the U.S., please contact our customer service at: Callers in Costa Rica: Call 4000-1976, Callers in the United States 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday: (703) 745-5475.  To reach a customer service representative via email, please write to ​