You can use your valid visa in your expired passport if...

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

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Q: My passport is expiring this year. Do I need to get a new passport before my visa appointment?

A: Yes, in this instance we would encourage you to renew your passport before your appointment.

Rules on passport validity vary based on nationality. For Jamaican passport holders applying at our embassy in Kingston, consular officers decide on a case-by-case basis if a visa can be placed in a passport that is nearing expiration. If your passport will be expiring soon, the officer will likely ask you to obtain a new passport if you have adequate time before your planned travel.

Most nationalities are subject to the “six-month rule”, meaning their passports need to be valid for at least six months beyond the final date of their planned travel to the United States. Jamaican passport holders are an exception to the six-month rule. Jamaicans can enter the United States right up to the day their passport expires.

If your passport is going to expire in the next few months, we suggest you renew it before travelling to avoid any complications.

Q: What happens to the visa after my passport expires?

A: Even if a passport has expired, the un-cancelled visa printed inside may remain valid until its expiry date.

Do not remove the visa from your old passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.

You can travel to the US on your valid visa in your expired passport, as long as you carry both your current and expired passports.

Please be aware that the unexpired visa cannot be damaged, must be the appropriate type for your purpose of travel, and may not be used if it is in a passport that has ever been reported lost or stolen.

Both the new and expired passports must be from the same country and must be the same type of passport (for example, you cannot use a visa in an expired diplomatic passport while travelling on a regular passport). When you arrive, US Customs and Border Protection will check your visa in the old passport, and they will place an admission stamp along with the annotation “VIOPP” (Visa In Other Passport) in the new passport.

After your passports and visas have all expired, we recommend that you keep them in a safe place. Do not throw the passport away and do not shred it.

The stamps from immigration serve to document your travels. When you appear for a visa interview in the future, we may ask to see your old passports. They provide proof of your travel dates.

You can find more information on our website, or by visiting 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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