Interview Waiver & Visa Renewal

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Overview

It is important to know that you can travel to the United States with your two passports (old and new), as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel. (Example: tourist visa, when your principal purpose of travel is tourism). Also, the name and other personal data, including nationality, should be the same in both passports. You cannot travel with two passports if your citizenship has changed, i.e., you used to be a Latvian non citizen and you have a U.S. visa in your passport, but you naturalized and became a Latvian citizen or acquired citizenship of some other country. You are required to apply for a new visa in such case.
Latvian citizens may benefit from visa-free travel using ESTA instead of applying for a U.S. visa. To learn about this option, please review the guidance on the Visa Waiver Program.
If you live in Latvia, you may be eligible to apply for a U.S. visa without an interview by using the interview waiver service based on your age, or if you are renewing a prior U.S. visa that is still valid or expired fewer than 12 months ago. Using the mail-in service may eliminate the need for an in-person interview at the embassy. In some mail-in cases, after the initial application review, the Embassy may still require you to schedule an in-person interview.
If you do not qualify for the visa-free program, interview waiver service, or travel on two passports, please follow the standard instructions to schedule your in-person interview at the Embassy.

Note: Applicants for E-1 and E-2 visas (treaty traders and treaty investors) may not use the below mail-in process.

Qualifications

Qualifications for Interview Waiver

Qualification Based on Age:

In general, children under 14 and applicants over 79 may apply through the interview waiver service if they live in Latvia and have no prior visa denials. Please see the section below on Supporting Documentation for information on required documents to use this option.

Qualification for Applicants Renewing their Visas:

You may be eligible to use the interview waiver service if you are renewing your previous U.S. visa and meet the below conditions:

  • You live in Latvia and will be physically present in Latvia at the time of your visa application processing
  • Your most recent U.S. visa application was approved
  • Your last visa is still valid or expired within past 12 months
  • Your nationality (citizenship) is the same that you had when you received your last U.S. visa
  • Your last visa was issued to you after your 14th birthday and your 10 fingerprints were collected when you previously applied for your visa
  • You are requesting the same visa classification (type) that you had previously
  • Your last visa does not include a visa annotation “waiver granted” or “clearance received”
  • Your last visa has not been reported lost or stolen
  • You have not received an ESTA denial for visa free travel to the U.S. after receipt of your last visa
  • You have not been detained, arrested, prosecuted, or convicted after your last visa was approved
  • You did not apply for an extension of stay or adjustment of status in the U.S. after receipt of your last visa
  • For temporary workers renewing H1B, L1, O1, L1 etc. visas: Your petitioner is the same that you had previously
  • For students renewing F1 or M1 visas: You are attending the same institution as previously or pursuing the same major course of study at a different institution
  • For exchange visitors renewing J1 visas: You are pursuing the same program as previously with the same Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) number as on your last visa

Supporting Documentation

To request the interview waiverservice ALL applicants should prepare the below listed documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Prior passport containing the unexpired visa or visa that expired less than 12 months ago (if applicable)
  • Confirmation page on Visa Application Form DS-160 completion
  • One printed, high-quality photo (if an electronic photo is not attached to your Form DS-160)
  • Printed copy of your visa application fee payment receipt. Note: Applicants who are simultaneously renewing their C1/D and B1/B2 visas should pay only one application fee
  • Printed copy of your Latvian residence permit (if you are not a Latvian passport holder)

Crew members renewing their C1/D visas should prepare the below listed additional documents:

  • Your current sea book (except for cruise line and airline employees)
  • A copy of your current work contract OR employment confirmation letter from your employer/crewing agency.

Students and their dependents renewing F1/F2 or M1/M2 visas should prepare the below listed additional documents:

  • Your original, approved Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status from your U.S. educational institution
  • Printed copies of your financial documents showing that you have the ability to pay all educational, living and travel costs
  • Printed copy of your approved Employment Authorization Card or Form I-797 indicating that your application for Optional Practical Training (OPT) is pending (if applicable)

Exchange visitors and their dependents renewing J1/J2 visas should prepare the below listed additional documents:

  • Your original approved and signed Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status
  • Printed copy of your Form DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan (if you are a trainee/intern exchange visitor)

Temporary workers renewing H1B, L1, O1, L1 etc. visas should provide a copy of Form I-797 Notice of Action indicating the work petition approval and that your petitioner is the same that you had when you received your visa previously.

How to Apply

'Step 1

Complete your Visa Application Form DS-160.

Step 2

Create your account at www.ustraveldocs.com. When you have your own account, choose Schedule appointment. As you go through the process you will answer a list of questions that will help you to establish whether you may use the interview waiver service or require an in-person visa interview. You will also use this account to pay your visa application fee and schedule your interview appointment, if required.

Step 3

After you answer the questions, you will be prompted to pay your visa application fee. If you are eligible to apply for a visa without an interview, your ustraveldocs.com account will generate instructions for you on the interview waiver process and required documents (Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter). See the official guidance above on supporting documentation for submission to the embassy.

Step 4

When you are ready to mail in your application and other documents to the Embassy, please send an e-mail to support-Latvia@ustraveldocs.com and in 1-2 days we will provide you with instructions on the free interview waiver process through Latvijas Pasts (Latvian Post). For applicants in Riga, a free courier service, DKL Latvia, will collect your documents and deliver them to the embassy for visa processing.

Attention to Inbox.lv email users! If you do not receive an auto-response with a case number from support@ustraveldocs.com , please re-send your request using a different email address and indicate your name, passport number and UID number.

Step 5

Visit Latvijas Pasts (Latvian Post) office to mail in your application and other documents. You should use the address label that we will provide for free interview waiver service. If you are from Riga, you will be contacted by our courier service DKL Latvia to arrange document collection from your address.

Step 6

If the Embassy can approve your interview waiver application, we will return your visa and passport to the delivery address that you listed in your www.ustraveldocs.com account. It normally takes two business days to process a visa application. After your visa is prepared, the delivery takes from 2-4 business days depending on your address.  In some rare cases the Embassy may  require an in-person interview. In these cases, the Embassy will contact you to help schedule your interview.