US visa renewal simplified for Malaysians – application can be done via mail now

US Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir announced recently that the United States Embassy will allow visa renewal by mail for Malaysians as the US Government wanted to make the visa process more “customer-oriented” for Malaysians.

Unlike before, those looking to renew their US visa will still have to fill up an online application and make an appointment for interviews at the US embassy. Now, those who still have a valid visa or those with visa expired within the last 12 months can have their visa renewed by mail without having to attend an interview.

This Renewal by Mail scheme is also considered for regular travelers to the United States.

“There is a perception here that it is impossible or very hard to get a US visa. People are worried about the processes and procedures, and coming for the interview. The truth is, if you are a Malaysian who applied for a tourist or short-term business visa, you are 95% sure of getting it while for students, its 99%,” said Lakhdhir.

Under the new scheme, applicants must fill up an online application and answer a series of questions to verify their eligibility for new visas by mail. A confirmation page will be sent out if the person qualifies and once the visa is ready, the applicants will be contact by email or SMS to pick up their passports at location of choice. The bulk of tourist visa for Malaysians are for the maximum 10 years.

However, Lakhdhir  said the Trump administration is not moving towards including new countries under the US visa waiver program, however, she cannot predict if there will be a policy change in the near future.


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