Those in Illinois with family members overseas who may need to renew their visas should be aware of the rules that govern this process. Approval for a renewed visa is not automatic, so all of the requirements must be strictly followed. The U.S. embassies can reject applications for a variety of reasons, including paperwork errors, so people should not simply assume that their application will be approved because they held a visa before.

The important thing to remember is that the applicant must apply for the same type of visa that they previously had. People must apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. They must first pay the fee for visa renewal and submit the Form DS-160 online. The U.S. Embassy officials may decide to bring the applicant in for an in-person interview. Alternatively, they can opt to waive that requirement. If the applicant must come in for an interview, they can bring the other required supporting documentation with them when they come. If not, they can simply mail the documents to the embassy.

Applicants should have an answer within roughly 10 days whether their request for a visa has been approved. If it has been granted, they will receive their passport back in the mail with the visa stamped in it. Not all applications are approved by the U.S. Embassy.

Since the visa application process is not always as straightforward as it seems, individuals and families may want to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer before submitting any application. Families may not know the reasons that can cause an application to be turned down, and the lawyer may let them know what to expect during the process. Visas cost money to apply for, so families will want to make sure that the application is correct when it is submitted.