You are allowed to have multiple visas

Ask the US Embassy

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Q: Can a person hold multiple visas? For example, if one is the holder of a B1/B2 visitor's visa and that person gets married to a US citizen and starts the filing process, would the US Embassy then cancel the visitor's visa during the immigration process? Or if someone has a visitor's visa and then applies for a student visa, will the visitor's visa be cancelled?

A: It is possible to hold multiple visas, but it largely depends on the type of visas you are seeking.

A person starting the filing process would submit all documents necessary for the immigrant visa, including their passport. At the interview, the consular officer will review all documents and usually cancel the visitor's visa. After all, you are now applying for an immigrant visa and cannot demonstrate that you do not have immigrant intent - this is a key component to qualifying for the visitor's visa. However, if you have a compelling reason to keep the visa while the immigrant process is underway - for example, you have an event to attend or other business in the US - explain this during the interview. The officer will then decide if you are able to keep the visa for your travels while your immigrant visa is being processed.

For non-immigrant visas, it is possible for people to hold more than one as long as they continue to have different purposes of entry. For example, if you have a visitor's visa and you apply for a student visa, during your studies you will use the student visa to enter the US as studying is your principal purpose of entry. However, after your studies are over, if you want to come back to the US for vacation you would enter with your still-valid visitor's visa. At this point, your student visa may be cancelled as you no longer have a reason to enter the US as a student.

Multiple non-immigrant visas are routinely issued at the Embassy - common combinations include the B1/B2 visitor's visa in addition to crew member (C1/D), student (F, M), employment-based (J, H) and performer (O, P) visa categories. As long as you still need multiple visas, and they are valid, your visa will not be cancelled when you apply for a visa in a different category.

You can find more information about how to travel to the U.S. on our website, Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page, and by following USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


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