One of the things that may happen to you, after you attend a US Visa interview is to get a stamp of “Cancelled Without Prejudice” (CWOP) on your previous US Visa stamp. You may get it on valid or expired visas in your passport for visa categories like F1 Visa, B1/B2 Visitor Visa, or even work visa like H1B or L1 visa.
Also, sometimes, some CBP officers may write CWOP on your expired visas, when you are exiting the US. In this article, we cover all details related to the CWOP stamp, including samples and common FAQs
What is Cancelled without Prejudice(CWOP) on US Visa?
As per the Official US Department of State Reference state.gov website, Cancelled Without Prejudice(CWOP) is defined as below:
“Cancelled Without Prejudice is a stamp the US Consulate or Embassy puts on a visa when there is a mistake in the visa or the visa is a duplicate visa(two of the same kind). It does not really affect the validity of other visas in the passport. It does not mean the passport holder will not get another visa“
See the below screenshot from the state department website.
Basically, it means that CWOP is usually stamped or written on a US Visa to indicate a clerical error or a mistake in the issued US visa or if there is a duplicate visa of the same type on the passport or some other similar reason. We will look at this in more detail in the below sections.
Common Reasons for getting CWOP? Meaning?
Below are some of the common reasons anyone can get a “Cancelled Without Prejudice” (CWOP) stamp or text on their US Visa.
- US Consulates Stamping CWOP on a valid or expired visa.
- CWOP written by CBP Officers
- Mistake or duplicate visa
- US Visa is no longer usable
- Damaged Passport or visa
Let’s look at each of these below.
CWOP Stamped on Valid or Expired US Visa by US Consulates
When you got for US Visa Stamping at an Embassy or US Consulate, sometimes, the US Visa or Consular Officer may put a stamp as in the below image that says “Cancelled without prejudice” (CWOP) on your valid or expired US visa that is already on your passport.
For example, if you had an F1 visa valid and you went for an H1B Visa stamping, then the Visa officer may put the stamp “Cancelled Without Prejudice” on your Valid F1 visa and then issue an H1B visa for you. This could also be stamped in any other visa type such as a previous H1B visa, B1/B2 Visa, etc.
See the below screenshot of the CWOP Stamped on an F1 Visa, when I went for H1B Visa stamping.
CWOP Written on Expired US Visa by CBP Officer
Sometimes, when you are exiting the US, at the airport, or at any other land post, the CBP officer ( Sometimes TSA officers too) may check your passport and may scribble/write CWOP on it. This is not a very common situation, but recently starting in early 2022, many users have reported that they are getting CWOP written on an expired Visa stamp in their passport at Seattle Airport. It looks like this, as in the below screenshot.
You may experience this at any airport or any border checkpoint when you are exiting the country, where you see CBP officers or TSA officers. This is also done to ensure that the passport holder needs to get a new visa to re-enter the US. There is no other reason for this.
Mistake or Duplicate Visa
As per US State Department, you would get a “Cancelled without prejudice” stamp on your US Visa, if there is any mistake on your visa or if the visa is considered a duplicate. This can happen anytime either when you apply for a new visa or when someone like CBP identifies the same.
US Visas No longer valid or usable
You may get a CWOP stamp on a US visa if the validity has expired( meaning not valid anymore). The key reason for putting this stamp is to ensure that the visa in it is not usable in the future and the passport holder needs to get a new US Visa to re-enter the US.
Damaged Passport or US Visa
If your passport or US Visa is damaged, including the US visa foil on the passport did not stick out well, then the Visa officer at the consulate could put the CWOP stamp. This is done to ensure that the US Visa is not used for fraud or manually glued somewhere else in another passport by the applicant. The US Consular officer would ask you to submit a new passport to issue a new US Visa.
Impact of having a “Cancelled without prejudice” stamp
Below are the details about the impact of the CWOP Stamp or text on a US visa in your passport.
- If you get the “Cancelled without prejudice” (CWOP) stamp on an old expired US Visa, it does not really affect the validity of the other US visas on your passport.
- It does not impact your general US Visa or US entry profile.
- It does not impact your future of applying for any US Visa.
- You may not be eligible for dropbox stamping for renewals. More info in the next section.
You may be in a panic when the CBP officer or someone at US Consulate puts this CWOP stamp on your visa. It has no bearing or impact on your profile or your future ability to get a visa. It is not the same as “Visa Revocation”, so do not worry.
CWOP Stamp Impact on US Visa Dropbox Eligibility
The presence of CWOP stamp and its impact varies by the country you are planning to apply for dropbox. It is best to check the CGI Federal Portal or USVisaScheduling.com website questionnaire in your country of choice. Below are two examples from India and Singapore.
US Visa Dropbox Stamping in India – CWOP question
Updated Feb 2023: In the past, having CWOP did not have any impact on your US Visa Dropbox eligibility when you applied it in India. But, this changed in late 2022 when the dropbox questionnaire got updated to include CWOP as well for applicants applying for dropbox stamping in India. After this change, if you have CWOP written or stamped on your US Visa and applying in India, you are no longer eligible for dropbox stamping.
The new question during the Dropbox questionnaire wizard for applicants applying in India, says “Was your most recent U.S. visa lost, stolen, canceled, revoked or marked CWOP?” Below is the screenshot of the actual question that asks about CWOP for India Consulates/Embassy on the appointment booking website USVisaScheduling.com
Even though CWOP is not the same as a US Visa being canceled or revoked for other reasons, for whatever reason, it has now been added in line with canceled or revoked in the questionnaire. In general, CWOP is more clerical and does not have the same effect as a US Visa being Cancelled.
If it is canceled, it would say “Cancelled with Prejudice”, meaning it was done intentionally due to the passport holder breaking the immigration law. Also, not sure, if this is possible, you may request the CBP officer as well not to write CWOP on the expired visa telling them that you would be ineligible for dropbox stamping.
US Visa Dropbox Stamping in Singapore – No CWOP question
If you look at the US Visa Dropbox questionnaire on the USTravelDocs Portal (portal.ustraveldocs.com) website for Singapore, it does not even mention CWOP. So, if you are applying for Dropbox stamping in Singapore, then having CWOP on your US visa has no impact on Dropbox stamping. You will be eligible for Dropbox, even if you have CWOP on your previous US Visa.
The actual question on the USTravelDocs Portal website for dropbox applicants applying from Singapore will say “Is your most recent U.S. visa (in the same class that you are applying) still in your possession (not lost or stolen).” It only asks about ‘not lost or stolen’, and does not ask about cancellation or CWOP. If you see the above section for applicants applying in India, it includes CWOP. Below is the screenshot of the question from the USTravelDocs Portal website in Singapore.
Sample “Cancelled Without Prejudice”(CWOP) Stamps
Below are common samples of the stamp “cancelled without prejudice”, it can have any kind of font or look, but the text is what matters. Sometimes, the officers may just write with pen as well, so do not be worried.
No, it does not. The visa type does not matter for the stamp. The stamp is just put by the Visa officer if they feel it is a duplicate or another category of visa is given to the individual. It does not affect you.
No, it will not. It does not impact your ability to get a new visa or impact you as an individual. It is given for administrative reasons to indicate wrong ones with errors, either old or duplicate visas that are not usable anymore.
No, your visa was not denied or rejected by the visa officer, if they put a stamp that says “cancelled without prejudice” . You do not have to indicate anything on the DS-160 form during the US visa application process.
No, having this stamp does not mean your previous visa was refused.
Yes, you will not be eligible for Dropbox with the CWOP stamp. This is a new change in the US Visa dropbox questionnaire that says, if you have CWOP, then you cannot get dropbox stamping.
What was your experience with CWOP? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
You may also read What is Clearance Received or Department Authorization annotation meaning on a US Visa.