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Enter US with Valid B1/B2 Visa in Expired Passport ? Other Visas ?

Many a times, when you go for US Visa Stamping at a US consulate, you may not have passport valid for the entire duration for which the Consualr officer issues visa. Example, B1/B2 is issued for 10 years and you may only have like 5 year validity on passport. This situation can happen to all kinds of visas like F1 Visa, H4 Visa, H1B Visa, L1 Visa and others. Now, when you get a new passport, you may wonder, if you can use the valid visa in old passport and travel to US or not ? In this article, we will cover what are the official rules and how it works with valid visa on expired passport, including my personal experience on the same.

What is the official rule by US Dept of State for valid US Visa in Expired passports ?

As per US Department of state, the rule is very straightforward : You can enter US using the valid US visa on an expired passport, if you meet the below conditions.

  • You need to have a valid passport, in addition to the expired passport.
  • The issuing country of the current valid passport should be same as the expired passport.
  • The type of the current passport should be same as expired passport ( e.g. both have to be regular type. You cannot have one regular and one diplomatic or other type).
  • Your visa has to be valid on the old passport that expired. It has to meet the purpose of the travel.
  • The visa on old passport should not be damaged and in good condition.
  • You need to carry both of your passports – the current valid passport and the old passport with valid US Visa.
  • Below is the screenshot of the exact rule taken from US Department of state website.
US Visa Validity with Expired Passport Clause from US Dept of State Website
US Visa Validity with Expired Passport Clause from US Dept of State Website

Does Airlines Travel Desk issuing Boarding Pass check Passports ?

Yes, the airlines travel desk person at the airport in your home country, who issues your boarding pass, or the security officer at the travel desk issuing boarding passes will check your US Visa validity and also passports. They will verify that you have both valid visa and valid passport and if you are carrying both passports. This is a pre-check before boarding flight to travel to the US.

Does the CBP officer at US Port of Entry ask any questions ?

When you enter US and go through port of entry procedures, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer would verify your visa in old passport, scan it and validate the same. They will capture your current passport details as well. They may or may not ask any questions on why you got new passport. The would put in a stamp your new passport indicating your entry and visa type that you are entering US and write annotation VIOPP, which means Visa in other passport.

Should you be worried, if traveling with expired passport and valid US visa ?

There is no reason to worry as the rules and guidance from US Department of State are very clear. As long as you meet all the conditions as listed in above section, you should be fine. Make sure your passports and visa are not damaged and machine readable. Usually the CBP officers ask questions regarding your travel and other general stuff. They may or may not ask about your expired passport having valid visa. Below are some of the common questions they may ask:

  • Where are you traveling to ? which city, state ?
  • What is the main purpose of your visit ? like studying, working, tourism, meetings, etc.
  • How long will you be staying in US ? how many years, months or days ?
  • Where do you currently live ? If it is your first time or are you living in US already ?

Have two new Passports since Old passport with valid US Visa – Can I still use ?

Yes, your valid visa in old passport that was given before stands valid. It does not matter how many new passport you have got after the old passport expired. The key thing to remember is that you have valid visa in passport. Personally, I had my valid B1/B2 visa was on my old expired passport and I had two new passports that I got as I exhausted pages. When I entered US at Port of entry, I was able to successfully clear immigration and customs by showing valid visa in my both old passport and the current valid passport. In a nutshell, the number of passports between your old passport with US visa and your current new passport does not matter.

Where is Official rule on US Dept of State Website ?

The Official details and guidance on traveling to US with valid visa in expired passport is under “Visa Validity” section at US Dept of State website. You need to click on the + icon to expand the question. See below screen shot on how it looks. In general, rules can change and you must check US Dept of state website for latest and current updates before you travel and make any decision to travel to US.

Visa Validity old passport US Dept of State
Visa Validity old passport US Dept of State

Experience : Traveling to US with valid Visa on Expired Passport

Background : I had valid B1/B2 visa of type regular ( R ) from 2012 to 2022 and it was in old expired passport that got expired in 2013. I got a new passport in 2013. My old and new passports are from India and of same type ( regular ). The B1/ B2 US visa in old passport was in undamaged condition.

I was traveling to US after 4 years with my B1/B2 visa, which was valid, but in expired passport. I did a lot of research to ensure I do not have issues at Port of entry (POE). I was kind of nervous leaving to US after 4 years for a conference with my new passport. Though, I did my research, I was kind of thinking in my mind, if there will be any questions at port of entry on the topic. I was just thinking if the system would recognize my passport and visa, etc…

Entering US Port of Entry : There was no issue with the system detecting my passport or visa. The CBP officer did not really ask me anything about my old passport. I gave him both the passports and he checked for himself and stamped the new passport with the entry date on it.

I was asked only few general questions like where I was going, where do I stay, what is my purpose of travel, etc. but none of them related to visa validity or passport.

I was able to enter US using the same valid B1/B2 visa in old expired passport, successfully without any issue. Overall, though I had some questions in my mind, until I got to Port of Entry, there is nothing to worry as long your US visa ( not just B1/B2 visa) is valid and in undamaged condition in same kind of passport given from same country.


Common FAQs

Do I need to get new visa stamp on New passport, even if my visa is valid in Old Passport ?

There is no need to get new visa stamp, if the visa in the old passport is valid and not damaged. If your purpose of the travel matches to the valid visa, then you can use the same.

I want to get a visa on my new passport to be safe, can I ? Dropbox ?

If you really want to get a visa stamp on your new passport, you can. Nothing is stopping you from getting it. You would be eligible for dropbox Visa stamping or Interview waiver.

What are key things to remember, when I travel with valid US Visa on Expired passport ?

You need to remember 4 things :
1. You need valid passport to enter US
2. Your US Visa in old passport is not damaged and in good condition.
3. Your current passport must be issued by same country as the old passport with US Visa.
4. Your expired old passport with US Visa must be of same type as your current passport.

Also, depending on the port of entry, you may also have Kiosks to do all the processing for certain types of Visa types. For instance, you do not need to go through long line at port of entry for B1/B2 and you can use Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosks. You may also read B1/ B2 US Visa Stamping Experience 

What was your experience entering with valid US visa in Expired Passport ? Share your experiences in comments.

   

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32 Comments

  1. Hi Paramjit,
    I recently got my date of birth corrected on my new Indian passport. My US visa is on the old Indian passport that has the wrong date of birth. Can I still travel to the US on the old visa?

    Reply
  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the great information you shared with us all.
    I have small issue to ask, I just received my new Indian Passport with my correct Name as per my Educational and ID proof’s ”PARAMJEET SINGH” and in my previous/old passport with valid US B1/B2 visa – Validity till 2026 name was ”PARMJEET SINGH”…
    Can I travel with New and Old passport(with Valid US Visa) or I need to apply for new US visa because of this Minor Change in Name?
    My current passport has Old passport and file number in last page(Indian Passport) and Mentioned ”OLD PPT CONTAINS VALID VISA”
    Waiting for your reply and thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Paramjeet,
      Well, I am not sure…Technically, you should be fine, if you carry both the documents….But, I suggest you email the embassy or CBP officer to get confirmation to be safe…

      Reply
      • Hi,
        Thank you.
        I received Email from the US Embassy and as per the Email:-

        Dear Sir,

        Yes, you can carry your valid visa with your new passport till the visa expiration date.

        Reply
        • Awesome ! That’s good to hear. Thanks for the update Paramjeet !
          I also suggest, you print out the email and carry it with you as backup to show, if asked at port of entry.

          Reply
  3. Hi! I have a valid b1/b2 visa and it is in my maiden name on my expired passport. I have renewed my passport and changed to my married name. Will I still be able to use my valid visa or do I need to get a new one? I have come across sites which said that there’s usually no problem as long as you bring the marriage certificate however other websites say that you have to apply for a new visa. Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  4. Hi,
    I am with similar case and successfully entered USA without much issues.

    Buy my concern is, today’s port of entry stamp is printed on cancelled passport by US official and also i have checked I-94 it came with cancelled passport number only.

    Will this be a problem in future?

    Reply
    • Rakesh,
      It should be fine in general. Yes, the online system will show the old passport number for your I-94, that’s normal. You can email the CBP on the stamp part of it in Old passport to be sure. Do update here after you write to them.

      Reply
  5. I have valid US visa in my expired passport I visited US with new passport and my expired passport last year now my new passport is little bit damage so if i again re issue the new passport will there be any problem for travelling US

    Reply
  6. I have an Indian passport and US visa issued in Muscat, my passport is expiring in October this year but my US visa is valid till 2023, now I am in India and want to renew my passport, will my US visa be valid to travel to US.

    Reply
  7. Hello,

    I am an Indian National with a valid US visa expiring in 2024 which is on an old passport. I have recently renewed my Indian passport in Singapore (I work in Singapore). My new passport states Place of Issue as Singapore. In such case will my USA visa still remain valid considering this change of details from Mumbai to Singapore as place of issue.

    Reply
    • Yes, it will still be valid…My case is similar to yours as well, my second passport place of issue is different and I was able to enter US successfully.

      Reply
  8. Hello. I have a valid US visa on an expired passport. However, when I renewed my passport, the issuing authority put the birthplace as follows:

    Expired Passport: XXX XXXX ZZZ AAA
    New Passport: XXX XXXX AAA ZZZ

    Actually, both places are the same place and they were acronyms. I mean, you cannot really read them as they are. Note that birthplace are not written in the visa itself. When I applied for a new passport, the place actually comes in a dropdown menu with no abbreviations so me, as a citizen, does not have any control on how my government will abbreviate the place of birth on the passport.

    I have consulted so many people (even travel consultants) on this and I even asked the US consulate – not officially but through a friend working there – if this will cause me any problem. However, all of them said “it will not have any problem”.

    What is your opinion on this?

    Reply
    • It should not have any problem. Logically, as long as you have your Old passport number in the new passport as reference, it should be fine. As long as your name and date of birth on Visa are same in both, you should be fine.

      Reply
  9. My US visa (B1/B2)was issued in March 2008 in China and it was for 10 years. It was now expired in March 2018, what is procedure for renewal of US visa in China, for Indian passport holder, please suggest, my email id is dheeraj28478@gmail.com

    Reply
  10. My old passport expired in 2015with US B1/B2 visa expired in 2018 Feb. I got my passport renewed in 2015 itself.
    Can i renew my B1/B2 visa?

    Reply
    • You can, provided that you have all the documents for B1/B2. Check, if you are eligible for dropbox on the USTravelDocs website.

      Reply
  11. My Child passport expired with valid US multiple visa the passport officer stamped cancelled on front page of thr passport my question is do they stamp cancelled on passport if so does the visa validity stays?

    Reply
    • J Singh,
      Yes, they do. In fact, for mine, they even cut a corner of the passport page, where you have the photo, so that I cannot use it. Do not worry, as long as the US visa on the passport is valid, you are fine. You just need to carry all the old and new passports.

      Reply
  12. Hi Folks!

    My 12 year old son has a valid nonimmigrant US visa on his expired swiss passport. He also has a valid Guatemalan passport. Can he still travel and be admitted into the US?
    Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Travel date is on Dec 25th.

    Regards!

    Reply
    • Per Hol,
      Technically, it should be fine as long as the US visa is valid. But, I do not know how it works when you have two passports. You can write to US embassy or CBP officer, just to make sure and confirm.

      Reply
  13. Hi Saurabh,

    I have a valid US visa till Feb 2019. I am planning to travel to US in next two or three months i.e., November, 2017. My passport will expire in Jan 2019.
    So, my question here is

    1) Can I extend my US visa with my expired passport?
    2) Can I travel to India with expired passport?

    Please reply.

    Reply
    • Chintu,
      1. There is nothing called visa extension. You apply for new visa, once it expires. The passport validity does not matter as long as the visa is valid.
      2. No, you will need to get a new passport in US.

      If you read the above article, it clearly tells that you can have valid visa in expired passport and it will work fine. Nothing to worry about extension of visa, as long as it is valid.

      Reply
  14. I have an expired passport with a valid US Visa. The front cover from teh passaport was damaged (kids…). The Visa page is in perfect state, just like my valid passaport…I have a scheduled business travel for US and not sure if the cover page off from the expired passaport will be a problem at the PoE… I have no time to issue a new visa on the new passaport 🙁

    Reply
    • Josie,
      As long as they can read your details and passport number from old passport, you should be fine. You can always email CBP officer, if you are not sure. Also, do share your experience after visiting US.

      Reply
  15. Last time when my mom visited US, she had her VISA in her old passport. We presented both old and the new passport and they had no issues letting us in.

    And if you see, the new passport has the old passport’s number in it. And I believe all this would be automatically updated in their systems???

    Finally what matters is whats shown in their system. If its all green for them, they most probably will let us in, unless they have something to suspect.

    Reply
    • Vinay,
      Yes, that’s right, it gets updated in their system with the new passport number. In fact, you can check that online. I will cover that in an article.

      Reply

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