(CNN Spanish) — The United States embassy in Colombia recommends that citizens of the Latin American country with B-1/B-2 visas start the renewal process two years before their documents expire.
“You don’t need to wait for your visa to expire to renew it. We recommend doing it early and starting the process two years before it expires. As long as it’s still valid, you can continue to use your old visa while waiting for your renewal appointment,” says the message published by the embassy on their social networks that generated dozens of queries.
In December, the US government had already warned that due to an “increasing backlog” of requests for visa appointments there could be a “significant delay” between the time you pay the document processing fee and the time you the appointment is scheduled. “By paying the visa fee, you acknowledge that it may take several months to schedule an interview appointment,” says the official information.
If you scheduled an appointment and you want to check if there is no earlier date available, you must log in with the account you created for the process on the page https://ais.usvisa-info.com/, select “Continue” and then “Reschedule appointment”. There you can see the available dates and, if you want to make a change, confirm it. If you prefer to keep the date you already had, you simply have to choose the “Close” option.
Tips for the US visa renewal process
The recommendation for those who are beginning the renewal process is, at the beginning of the process, to already have a list of all the international destinations visited in the last five years and the last five trips to the United States (including stopovers).
They will also ask you for dates of possible upcoming trips without the need to have reservations made, simply about your plans.
It is not recommended, according to the Government, that you try to start the process in another country since the majority of embassies and those consulted have limited resources and are prioritizing the requests of the citizens of the country where they are located.
Remember that B-1 and B-2 visas are visitor visas for travelers going to the United States for business (B-1), tourism/vacation (B-2), or a combination of both. In 2019, that is, before the pandemic, the United States issued 5,297,439 B-1 and B-2 visas.