I got my first US Visa in December 2010, just two months before going to New York/Boston. I’ve since had this wild dream of going back to America before my visa expires in December 2015. Sadly, I haven’t got that other chance… 😦 But just when I thought my visa would end up being a token of memory in my passport, I read about “Interview Waiver Program” for Indonesian citizen.
Basically this program is a “shortcut” to renew your visa. You just have to drop the required documents at your nearest RPX Drop-Off location, and wait until your new visa and your passport(s) are mailed back. You don’t even need to come for an interview at the US Embassy! How convenient!! 😀
So, can everyone just renew their visas through this program?
Well, unfortunately not.
You’re eligible for Interview Waiver Program if you:
- Are an Indonesian passport holder
- Have a full validity visa (a visa that can be used for 5 years), B1/B2, F, J, C, C1/D type visa that was issued on or after June 1, 2007
- Are applying for the same type of visa as your previous one.
For example, if you had F (Student) visa and now you want to apply for a B1/B2 (Business Travel), well, you can’t do it through Interview Waiver Program.
- Are >= 14 years old at the time your previous visa was issued
- Have all the passports since your previous visa was issued.
For example, if you got your visa in 2007 and your first passport expired in 2012, that means in 2015 you currently use your second passport to travel. These two passports have to be sent to get your new visa.
- Have not been refused a US visa in the last 12 months
- Have never stayed in the US for >6 months with B1/B2 visa
- Have never been arrested or convicted for a crime
If you check YES to all those statements: CONGRATULATIONS! You can now start gathering the required documents.
Just like the regular US visa application process, you have to fill in the DS-160 form. Then you choose “Schedule Appointment” on the Embassy’s appointment system.
Wait, I thought you said “no interviews”? Why do I have to schedule an appointment?
As you go through the process, there will be a series of questions (the 8 questions I posted above), and after you’ve answered all the questions, you will be given the option to renew your visa via Interview Waiver Program. However, if you wish to follow the regular application process, you can click further to schedule an interview appointment in Jakarta/Surabaya.
How much do I have to pay for this?
The fee is just the same with regular process — when I applied in October 2015, it was US$ 160, paid at the nearest Standard Chartered bank.
After you have paid the fee, bank will give you a receipt. Save this receipt. After that, you need to go to RPX Drop-Off Location to deliver your documents. I sent it through RPX Bandung, Jl. Sampurna no. 12, (022) 2031800. Jl. Sampurna is on the way to Hasan Sadikin General Hospital (dude, just Google it up! :P)
What documents do I need to send?
You can ask your parents/friends/relatives to send the documents. You don’t need to come in person to RPX. I did ask my mom to bring our Kartu Keluarga, tho, as a precaution. These are the documents I sent:
- DS-160 Confirmation Page
- Current and prior passport containing your previous visa (I sent 2 passports of mine. Don’t worry, they will be safe)
- One photo size 5×5 cm taken within the last 6 months, adhered to US photo requirements (just go to the biggest photo service in your city, they most likely know what to do). Oh yeah, if you wear glasses, you don’t have to take it off in the photo.
- Dropbox confirmation letter –> you get this automatically after finishing DS-160 form
- MRV or EFT Receipt –> from Standard Chartered bank
OPTIONAL, BUT I SENT IT ANYWAY:
- A very rough travel plan to the US
- Proof of income
I sent a photocopy of an offer letter from my current company, stating my basic salary per month. You can also sent a “rekening koran” from your bank account. The most important thing is that the examiners know that you have sufficient fund on your own to go and stay in the US for <6 months.
What if I don’t have any travel plan yet? I just want to renew my visa because it will expire soon.
It’s okay. I don’t have a concrete plan either. I just made a 3-column table stating that I’d fly from Jakarta to New York on 1 June 2016, travel in New York on 2-12 June 2016, stay at ABCD Hotel in Upper East Side, and go back to Jakarta on 12 June 2016.
The exact dates? You bet. I haven’t even bought any tickets 😀
Oh, I did enclose the contact details of my relative who lived and worked in US, tho. I don’t know if this becomes any factor of consideration by the examiner.
So that’s all you need to do!
You send all the documents, and wait for a new visa to arrive at the convenience of your home! 😀
Hope this helps anyone searching for the easy way to renew US Visa. Don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below — I’d be happy to help!