The Complete Guide to Having a Valid Visa on an Expired Passport

Posted by Frank Gogol

For the record, you always need a valid passport that is not expired in order to enter any country. However, if you have a valid visa on an expired passport, you can bring that passport along with your current valid passport to travel to the United States. And although some countries are adopting passport administration strategies to take your old passport away from you, there are still some scenarios where you could have a valid visa on an older passport. In these cases, you are allowed to use the visa on your old passport to enter the US.

The valid visa should be in good condition even though it is in an expired passport. You should present both of the well-kept documents to port authorities in order to be granted travel to the US. The passports must also be issued by the same country and be of the same passport type.

Read on to learn more, or check out our video Is your Visa valid if Passport Expires?

What is the US Department of State rule for any valid US visa on an expired passport?

The rule on this is very straightforward: you can enter the US using the same US visa as long as it has not expired yet. As mentioned before, the passport issuing country and the passport type must be the same in order for this to work. This rule applies to all types of visas, including B1/B2 visas.

For clarification and credibility, the exact rule by the US Department of State has been pasted into this article below. You can see that it very clearly states that you do not need to get a new visa stamping if the visa on the expired passport is valid and in good condition. The most important thing is that you carry both of your passports.

Will airlines issuing boarding passes at travel desks check this?

Yes, airlines should be aware of this rule and will check to see if you have permission to travel to the US. When you are at the airport in your home country, usually the airline receptionist issuing your boarding pass, or the security officer at the respective checkpoints, will ensure the US Visa on your expired passport is still valid. You will be screened before entering the US for these documents.

Will the CBP Officer at the Port of Entry ask questions about the valid visa on your expired passport?

It is not usual for CBP officers to interrogate you about the validity of your visa on your expired passport because officers should be aware of the laws regulating this kind of situation.

Find out more about this process below, or here: US Port of Entry Process for International Students on F1 Visa.

Is there any reason to be worried about traveling to the US with a valid visa on an expired passport?

There shouldn’t be any reason to worry about this if you have made sure that your US visa is valid and that it is inside an expired passport in good condition. You must also make sure the passports are of the same passport types. If you are unsure of this, ask your countries government whether or not the two passports you hold are of the same passport type.

Questions you receive at the gate will be the normal ones asked by any CBP officer at a Port of Entry.

Questions you can expect at a Port of Entry

  • Where are you traveling to?
  • What is the purpose of your visit?
  • How long will you be in the US?
  • Where do you currently live?

Where can I go to check the official rules on the US Dept. of State website?

Ok, so you’re still skeptical about this rule. That’s fine.

To ensure you have permission to enter the United States using two passports, you can check under the “Visa Validity” section at US Dept of State website for official information and updates, if any. Whenever you have any worries or qualms about your entry into the United States, it is recommended to check the US Dept. of state website since visa rules are subject to change at any given time.

As of right now, you are good to go to the United States to travel under these circumstances.

Important Reminders

  • You have a valid passport issued by your country
  • You have a valid US visa on your expired passport
  • Your expired passport is in good condition
  • Your expired passport type matches your current passport type
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Hopefully, this article has helped you resolve your visa concerns for entering the United States. If you have any more questions, we are happy to assist you in getting the right answers so you are prepared for any immigration situation. Happy travels!

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