My friend recently applied and was granted a visa for a meeting he's attending at a USA university. His visa has some annotations in it. One of these annotations is an airport code (IAD). He was part of a group and apparently they listed IAD as the nearest airport to where they are traveling to.

I was helping him find tickets and I realized that he'd get much better prizes if he travels via BWI (it's actually 5 minutes closer to his main destination, according to Google Maps). My question is, can he travel via BWI or is it a MUST that he enters the USA via IAD? Also, seeing how most trips first enter the USA in places like Miami/New York, does it matter what his visa says? Or does it mean he needs a direct (and quite expensive) flight to IAD?

  • 1
    probably not worth the risk
    – user58558
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 19:11
  • 1
    Are you certain that IAD is an airport code? Maybe it says IAD for some other reason. Even if it is an airport code, maybe it says IAD for some reason that has nothing to do with the port of entry. It's difficult to say whether the annotation has any bearing on the travel plans when we don't know everything the visa says. We don't even know the type of visa.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 5:26
  • @phoog, it's a B1/B2 visa. Besides that it says Tacoma Park, MD, followed by IAD. He claims that his group mentioned (not sure if written or spoken) Dulles airport as the nearest airport to the place they are going to, and since IAD is Dulle's airport code, we just assumed it stands for the airport code. I tried googling IAD in visa annotations but nothing came up. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 14:44
  • 4
    I also tried the same searches. But if the visa simply says "IAD" without any indication that it is a restriction on the port of entry, there's no reason to assume that it's a restriction on the port of entry apart from an abundance of caution.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 15:51
  • 1
    Can you add a picture of just this part? No personal information.
    – DTRT
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


If the visa is for 5-10 years, for multiple entries (as they usually are), then nobody would expect your friend to enter the USA at the same airport for the next 5-10 years. I've never heard of a restriction in the port of entry for a B1 US visa, so our friend is most likely fine.

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