The State Dept. announced that July 6, 2004 will be the last day that it will accept applications within the U.S. for visa reissuance (revalidation). The end of this program is due to new procedures being set up all around the world, beginning in October, for collection of biometrics (fingerprints, etc.) for each visa applicant. The State Dept. has no way of collecting this information under the current mail-in program.
All foreign nationals who are required to have valid visa stamps for return to the US from travels abroad should be aware that they will be required to schedule an appointment with a US consulate in order to obtain the visa stamp. Foreign nationals should be sure to allow sufficient time for processing of the paperwork prior to their departure from the U.S. as well as allow time for the U.S. Consulates to process the visa stamps in their passports. Generally, it takes 5 to 10 business days after the appointment for embassies to process visa stamps in passports.