Visa Changes and Renewals

Visa Changes

The FCDO Protocol Office in the British Embassy, Washington DC is the MOD PoC for information on options and processing changes of immigration status i.e. changing from one type of visa to another.

The FCDO Protocol Office can be contacted via the BDSUS EAD and Passports Clerk: [email protected]

All personnel should be aware that aspects of their administration i.e. car registration and title, will be linked to their visa. Personnel will have to pay special attention to these aspects of their administration i.e. buying and selling cars, when planning a change of visa and any likely change of location within the US.


Visa Renewals

NATO-2 or A-2 Visa Holder

If your visa expires during your assignment in the US, it can be renewed via the Embassy. You should forward the following to the BDSUS Support Group: 

  • Passport and Passport with Current Visa (if different)
  • A completed Form 1648 (it must be the page with the bar code) which can be accessed via  The Personal Identification Information Section of the form asks for a PID, if you do not have one, input 0000-0000.
  • A Command Verification Letter from your current or new posting.  This letter should be signed by a US citizen of a higher rank than you (click here for example letter)
  • A copy of the I-94
  • A copy of your new assignment order.

For spouses and children only, please follow the same process as above and also include a copy of the principal’s passport, visa and I-94.

When should I renew my NATO-2 or A-2 VISA?

You should apply for a renewed VISA no more than six weeks before your current US VISA expires. Contact the team advising the team of your requirements and requesting the current notes for guidance. The guidance notes will list all the specific supporting documents required.

Exceptionally – If you are posted from an existing US location to a new US posting location, you should apply for a replacement US VISA for yourself and family only after arrival at your new location. This will produce a US VISA with your new location annotated to the document.

VISA renewal applications are usually achieved within 10 days of the completed application arriving at the embassy. It is strongly recommended that any movement of Passports and supporting documents be conducted using a postal delivery service that offers tracking and signature on delivery. All such deliveries will be signed for by an accredited Post Room staff member. 

Special considerations

In all cases of US VISA renewal requests for child dependants aged up to 21 and between 21 and 23 have specific requirements relating to proof of educational status. This status may have implications on both US VISA entitlement and on-going Medical and Dental cover and you must ask the BDSUS Passport team for additional guidance when applying to renew for a family member falling under this age category. 

The JSP 752 Definition of a Dependent Child (extract of 02.0109)

  • A child is 18 years of age or under.
  • A son or daughter is 24 years or under, unmarried or not in a civil partnership and in receipt of full-time education at a school, college or university (studying for a first degree only) or is out of full-time education for up to one year between secondary education and further education.
  • The age limit does not apply to a son or daughter who is physically or mentally incapable of contributing to their own support. Your paperwork will be passed on to the FCO Protocol Section for action.


Your photo is a vital part of your visa application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable photo. Digital images are required for some visa categories. The acceptance of your digital image or photo is at the discretion of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.

We recommend that you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements.

Your photos or digital images must be:

  • In colour
  • Size between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
  • Taken within the last six months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Uniforms should not be worn
  • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for religious purposes. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
  • Glasses are not allowed for Visa photographs.
  • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
  • If you normally wear a hearing device, or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.
  • Review the Photo examples to see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Photos copied or digitally scanned from a driver’s license or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.

For more information, click here.

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2021 @ 12:52 am

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