Dear Students and Exchange Scholars attending U.S. schools,
Congratulations to all of the Chinese students and exchange scholars who are successfully studying in the U.S. after receiving a visa at one of the U.S. consular posts in China. We sincerely hope that you are finding studying in the United States to be a rewarding experience! We know this is a busy time prior to exams, and we wish you all the best.
For those of you who may be returning to China during the upcoming winter or summer breaks, we have some helpful visa information we would like to share with you a convenient visa renewal service available at all of the U.S. government’s visa processing offices in China. The service is called the “drop off renewal” and allows students and exchange scholars to renew their U.S. visas without having to wait in line or go through another interview. Additionally, as of December 25, 2010 the fees for drop off visa renewal services will be significantly reduced – to 100 RMB for student visa applicants applying for F and M visas and senior citizens who are 70 and above, and 120 RMB for all others.
The process works like this: After filling out the DS-160 online application form and paying the MRV fee, holders of valid (or expired for less than one year) F1 and J1 visas who plan to return to the U.S. to continue their studies can drop off their passports and application materials at your nearest CITIC Bank Frequent Traveler Acceptance location (for a list of locations in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui please visit http://shanghai.usembassy-china.org.cn/citic_bank_location.html). This option saves you a trip to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy, as well as saves you time waiting in line for another visa interview! This option is only available to you if you travel back to China and need to reapply for the same type of visa. It is not possible to mail your passport from the United States for renewal. Also, as of December 25, 2010, drop off renewal will be mandatory for all eligible visa applicants.
Complete information about the drop off renewal service can be found online at http://shanghai.usembassy-china.org.cn/returning_students.html. One important thing to note: No one will be refused a visa on the basis of the paperwork submitted through the drop off renewal program. While most visas can be easily renewed on the basis of the submitted documentation, if there are questions or concerns about your case, you will be invited for an interview so that you can explain.