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 it on your expired visas, when you are exiting the US. We cover all details related to that 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: “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 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 from 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 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 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 and US Visa Dropbox Eligibility
The CWOP stamp in an expired or old US visa in your passport has no impact on your dropbox eligibility. You can submit your documents for Dropbox stamping, even with the CWOP Stamp. There is confusion at the VAC centers, where the USTravelDocs personnel are not aware of this and sometimes reject the dropbox submission saying that the applicant cannot submit documents for dropbox.
Few of the community users reported that they faced this issue during the dropbox submission, but eventually spoke to the higher officers and were able to submit the documents. Also, for those who were not able to submit, the US Consular officer clarified to the applicants saying that the CWOP stamp does not impact the Dropbox eligibility and it was a pure mistake at the VAC Center.
CWOP is not the same as US Visa being Cancelled for other reasons. CWOP is more clerical and does not has the same effect as 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. The VAC folks are confused by seeing the word Cancelled in CWOP and rejecting dropbox submissions. So, if you get turned away, explain them and ask to speak to an officer. If you are unlucky, you may end up going for an in-person appointment. But, do not panic, it has no impact.
As a note of caution, if you have a CWOP stamp, then email the US Consulate or Embassy beforehand and get an email confirmation from them that you can submit the documents for dropbox. This way you avoid the hassle of submission. Also, not sure, if this is possible, you may request the CBP officer as well not to write CWOP on the expired visa.
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.
No, you are eligible for Dropbox with the CWOP stamp. It is pure confusion by the VAC personnel, so speak to them and clarify.
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.