Renewing US Visa Without Interview (Interview Waiver Program)

So, that afternoon I received an e-mail from a US embassy official with the subject “Important Message Regarding Your US Visa”. I was instantaneously reminded with my US visa that was about to expire soon. The e-mail explained that there’s a new program called IWP or Interview Waiver Program in which a person with prior visa didn’t have to come in person to the embassy to renew their visa. But of course, not everyone is qualified for this program. To check whether you’re qualified or not, click here. I was thrilled to find out that I was qualified for the program, meaning I didn’t have to wake up so early in the morning and then queue in front of the embassy while feeling anxious that the interview wouldn’t turn out well and all. So, yeah, I thought why not go ahead and apply? Turns out, the process is really simple once you understand all the required steps, but I found the website a bit complex (hence I made this blog post in hope that it can help anyone wanting to renew their visa through IWP). And it’s relatively fast too! I dropped off all the required documents on Thursday at the drop box location, and picked up my passport with the issued visa the next Wednesday. Here are the steps for applying for US visa renewal with Interview Waiver Program: 1. Pay the NIV Application Fee This fee depends on the type of visa you’re applying. Find out what type of visa you’re applying, and check the amount you have to pay here. In my case, since I was renewing my B1/B2 visa, I had to pay USD 160. There are two payment options: online or straight at a local bank. Because I don’t have any account in Permata Bank, I opted for the latter. If, like me, you choose to pay at a local bank, you must first print out the deposit slip that you can find here and then take it to the bank. You can pay at any Standard Chartered or Permata Bank listed here. At first I went to Permata Bank branch in Setiabudi as it’s closer to my house. After more than half an hour of queuing, it was finally my turn but contrary to what the website says, the teller told me that it took more time for the payment to be processed if done in their bank (5-7 working days) compared to Standard Chartered (4 hours after payment)! Luckily there’s a Standard Chartered bank nearby that’s still open so I went there instead. *phew* So yeah, I guess you better go straight to Standard Chartered instead if you don’t want to wait that long. At the bank, I filled out the USA MRV Fee slip with my name as shown in the Passport, my Passport number, the visa fee amount and then sign it. I then gave this along with the deposit slip I printed at home to the teller. After validating them, she returned the payment receipt for the MRV fee and the Customer Copy of the deposit slip. Don’t lose the payment receipt, as you will need to submit it along with all other documents. For step-by-step procedures of this payment, click here. 2. Complete the DS-160 form Make sure you have a digital 5×5 cm formal photo in color with white background which was taken no longer than 6 months ago before you fill out this form as the first thing they’ll ask you is to upload this photo. You can read the photo requirements here but if you’re not sure you can take and edit the photo by yourself, just do what I did: go to the nearest  photo service and tell them you need a photo for US visa. When you’ve already got the required photo, go to this link and follow the steps to fill out the DS-160 form. After you fill out the form, electronically sign it and submit it online, you will get the DS-160 confirmation page, which you will submit along with all other documents. 3. Retrieve the Drop Box Confirmation Letter If you pay at the Standard Cartered bank, four hours after you made the payment (or one day after the payment just to make sure it’s already processed) go to this link, create an account and then login with that account. Even though with IWP we don’t have to make an appointment for an interview, just click “New Application/Schedule Appointment”. Answer the questions and after you finish, you will see “Drop Box Confirmation Letter” on the homepage. Click this and print it out. 4. Submit All Required Documents to the Drop Box Location As stated in the Drop Box Confirmation letter, drop off the following documents:

  1. Drop Box Confirmation Letter
  2. Current passport and prior passport which contains your most recent US visa
  3. Original Standard Chartered Bank or Permata Bank payment receipt for MRV fee
  4. DS-160 confirmation page
  5. One color, white-background, 5×5 cm photograph (just use the same one as the one you submitted online when filling out the DS-160 form)
  6. Children under age 14: original birth certificate (which will be returned along with the passport once the visa is issued)
  7. Student (F) visa applicants: original form I-20; Returning students – evidence that you continue to be a student in good standing, for example transcript or grade card; Exchange (J) visa applicants: original form DS-2019
  8. Crew (C1/D) visa applicants: Sponsor employment letter from crewing agency

at the nearest RPX courier. You can find the locations of the courier here. You don’t need other documents beside those mentioned above, not even a bank statement. And that’s it! Those are the 4 simple steps that you need to do to renew visa without having to go through the interview. Again, I hope you find this blog post helpful and if you have any question, just shoot! Hopefully I can help 🙂

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28 thoughts on “Renewing US Visa Without Interview (Interview Waiver Program)

  1. Linda says:

    How many days did it take to get back your passport after you dropped it in drop box? thanks

  2. dea says:

    Hi, thanks for the useful information! Could you provide the exact location of drop box?

  3. Afnan says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for the useful information.

    If we’re eligible for the Interview Waiver Program, can we still choose the old way i.e. scheduling the interview and go for the interview in Jakarta? Maybe this sounds weird but my husband lives outside Java and he does not feel comfortable sending all the important documents via mail.

    • mskrisnarini says:

      Hi,

      My pleasure. I actually am not sure, but I think your husband can do that. Maybe you can try calling their hotline?

  4. Dee says:

    Hi, do you pick up your passport at the same rpx drop off once it’s done?

    • mskrisnarini says:

      Hello… Yes, they sent me an e-mail telling me that it’s done and it could be picked up at the same place I dropped it off 🙂

  5. Amit says:

    Hi,

    I qualify for the interview waiver program but not the drop box which means I have to go to the vfs and get my photo and finger prints taken. I saw the list of documents you mentioned and saw there are no supporting documents like income tax returns, bank statements, degree certs., sponsorship letters etc. I called the customer service and they said I have to go with the supporting documents and submit them with mandatory documents (the ones you mentioned in your post) when I go to get my fingerprints and photo taken. I am confused. I am renewing my b1/b2 visa. Seems like customer service is bull sitting and supporting documents are only required by first time applicants and not for people renewing their visa.

    Thanks

    • mskrisnarini says:

      Hi there…
      Maybe they changed the policy? I didn’t need any of the supporting documents that you mentioned when I got my visa renewed last year.

      • Amit says:

        Nah I checked with my relatives who got their visa renewed recently. They carried all their docs but when they went for their appointment the vfs guys only asked for the mandatory documents and didn’t take any supporting documents. It’s dumb. Everywhere on the website and the appointment confirmation letter they say to carry supporting documents and don’t ask for it. They just take the mandatory documents like passport, payment receipt, ds-160 confirmation. I am not sure if I have to take photos with me or not, do you know? This is just for b1b2 renewal. Other visa categories will require supporting documents specially h1b I think.

      • mskrisnarini says:

        They asked for photo when I renewed my visa last year. I listed the documents I gave them in my blog post 🙂

  6. ika Tarigan says:

    Hi there, thank you for your helpful information to do the IWP. im applying right now and have completed filling the application and had my confirmation number. the problem is im trying to get my dropbox confirmation letter but i dont see any. i have created an account and filled up all the information. The last page shown “schedule consular appointment” showing the time schedule for me to have an interview. what should i do? should i select it and hit the schedule appointment button?

    • mskrisnarini says:

      Hi Ika.
      I didn’t get that button last year. Maybe they have changed the procedure? Sorry if I can’t help you, but I think it’s better to call the hotline to make sure.
      All the best!

    • Ajenk Dyah says:

      Hi Ika, if you don’t mind sharing your experience in processing the waiver program visa? I am currently processing one myself and having trouble finding the drop box confirmation part.

      Thank you

      • lia says:

        Hi Ajenk Dyah,

        Do you mind telling me if you found the drop box confirmation part? I am in the middle of processing my application.

        Thanks

  7. lia says:

    Hi Ajenk Dyah,
    Do you mind telling me if you get the drop box confirmation part? I am in the middle of filling the application, but i did not see the drop box confirmation.

    Thanks

  8. Kiran says:

    Thank you very much it is really helpful

  9. Hi Krisnarini,

    after you gave all your documents to the drop off location, did you get any email from them confirming that they received your application. I’m having a hard time tracking my application/passport. Starting to get nervous and worry. Just curious if you get any email about your application at all.

    Thanks!

  10. I am qualified for the drop box interview waiver program. I answered all the questions and got a confirmation that I am eligible, but I am unable to get the drop box submission letter. The one which I would have to drop at the location for processing.
    Please help

    • mskrisnarini says:

      Where is your location? I’m in Jakarta and I dropped the application to the location I mentioned in the post. Other than Jakarta, seems like I can’t help. Sorry 😦

  11. Neha says:

    Hi Krisnarini,

    Thanks a lot for your blog. It is really helpful. I have the below two questions.

    1) Is the fee paid for a particular DS 160 number? Or even after paying the fee, we can fill a new DS160 and use that for dropbox if we have made a mistake in the old DS 160 we filled before submitting the fee?

    2) Does anywhere in the process in any form they ask you the location where you want to submit your documents? Or we can go to any dropbox location of our choice in India and submit our documents there irrespective of the location of where we paid the fee.

    Thanks,
    Prastuti

  12. devi dayal vishwakarma says:

    Hello dear

    kindly help me to know the process.
    i printed the confirmation later and tomorrow will be submitted to the dropbox location.
    could you please explain when and how to book my shedule appointment.
    and after dropbox what is the next step.

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