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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawShould I Transfer My American Visa to My New Passport?

Should I Transfer My American Visa to My New Passport?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing new passports and visa transfer to new passports.  

In most circumstances that we deal with, we are dealing with Lawful Permanent Residents in the United States. Most of our clients have entered the United States either through a K-1 fiancée visa, a K-3 spouse visa, an IR-1 spouse visa or a CR-1 marriage visa and then there are stepchildren associated therewith. We deal with a lot of family-based Immigration at our office; we deal with some employment-based Immigration especially under the E category. But a question that does occasionally pop up with respect to Immigration to the US is, I see this a lot with tourist visas mostly, because lawful permanent residents, once their green card is issued, this isn't so much of an issue anymore because the green card can act as essentially proof of ability to travel to the United States notwithstanding issuance of a new passport.

But the thing to take away from this video is for example like a tourist visa, the B1/ B2 10-year tourist visa. Let's say a 10-year tourist visa is issued for example to a Thai National and most Thai passports at least as of the time of this filming are issued in five-year intervals so there is a good chance that the passport will expire before the visa will.  What do you do in this circumstance? Some ask the question, "Should I transfer it?" Well that may not be necessary. The visa itself is still valid, in the case of the B1/B2, and you simply keep your old passport and take it with you when you travel to the United States and show the visa as evidence of an ability to travel to the United States and then subsequently show the visa when passing through US Customs and Border Protection and then they will go ahead and stamp your new passport with the entry stamp allowing you to enter the country.

So in most cases I don't think it's overly necessary to worry too much about transferring a tourist visa over to a new passport. As mentioned before for LPR's, lawful permanent residents, this really isn't an issue especially once the green card is issued. Now if an I-551 stamp has been issued which is a temporary green card in a sense, and I have another video on this channel specifically on the I-551, that may be a different story if one needs to leave and return and a passport is expiring and the I-551 is issued but a new green card is not, that can be a major issue.  I think it's probably wise to seek the assistance of a legal professional for that question as it is going to be circumstantially dependent.

But that being said, the thing to take away from this video, especially in the context of a US tourist visa, yeah it's not a major concern to go ahead and transfer that visa.  You simply need to take the visa with you in your old passport when traveling to the United States on your new one.