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I'm about to get a visa that will outlast my passport by roughly three or four months. The time difference is not a lot and probably won't have any big effect on anything but it got me wondering. Does the expiration of a passport have any effect on still valid visas? Is this visa still usable even though the passport isn't? Or does this vary from country to country?

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    Which country’s visa do you have? – Hanky Panky Jul 18 '18 at 3:44
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    Countries that do not allow visa in expired passports do often not give out visa beyond the expiry date of the passport, although there may be exceptions to that rule as well – Willeke Jul 18 '18 at 6:11
  • Is there a problem getting a new passport that won't have that problem beforehand? – PlasmaHH Jul 18 '18 at 11:10
  • @PlasmaHH With two years left on my passport? – user3306356 Jul 18 '18 at 14:25
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    As everyone has said MOST but not all countries are fine with visa-in-old-passport. However. It all comes down to WHICH COUNTRY pair you are involved in. So in fact, the literal answer to this question is: it depends on what Timatic says. That will determine whether you can board or not, nothing else! – Fattie Jul 18 '18 at 19:32
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Many countries allow you to use a valid visa in an expired passport, as long as you present a valid passport along with it and all the other details (usually including your name) have not changed:

For example, for the United States:

My old passport has already expired. My visa to travel to the United States is still valid but in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa with my new passport?

No. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports, as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel. (Example: tourist visa, when your principal purpose of travel is tourism). Both passports (the valid and the expired one with the visa) should be from the same country and type (Example: both Uruguayan regular passports, both official passports, etc.). When you arrive at the U.S. port-of-entry (POE, generally an airport or land border) the Customs and Border Protection Immigration Officer will check your visa in the old passport and if s/he decides to admit you into the United States they will stamp your new passport with an admission stamp along with the annotation "VIOPP" (visa in other passport). Do not try to remove the visa from your old passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.

Or the UK (but see the link a bunch of details where this does and doesn't apply):

You can use the valid visa in your expired passport when you’re travelling to and from the UK. You’ll need to travel with your expired and your new passport.

This is true of most countries, but you'll need to check for official advice from a particular country to ensure their rules work the same way and whether there are any conditions.

If this is allowed by the country you're traveling to, you will also need to ensure your own country allows you to keep your old passport and that it is returned to you after renewal (some countries require that you request this specifically or it will be destroyed). See Can I keep my old passport when I have it renewed and a new one issued?

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    This is exactly what I wanted to know. My question now becomes, "Do I have to surrender my old passport when I get it renewed?" as obviously you need to be able to keep the old passport. – Stewart Jul 18 '18 at 10:10
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    @Stewart Many counties will require you to surrender the old passport to get it renewed, and then they'll give it back to you along with your new passport (often with a hole punched or a corner cut or similar). Sometimes you have to request this. It all depends on the policies of the country concerned. See Can I keep my old passport when I have it renewed and a new one issued? – Zach Lipton Jul 18 '18 at 10:31
  • I concur with this answer; this is precisely what the German consulate in Chicago told me. My passport was going to expire before my work visa did, and they told me to simply keep the old passport so I could show the visa. When I renewed the passport (by mail) in Frankfurt, I received back my new passport, but also my old one with holes punched in it, but with the visa still usable. – Kyralessa Jul 18 '18 at 14:09
  • Just make sure you're getting the old passport back. In Canada, this is optional. You have to explicitly request to keep the old passport. Not saying so means it will be destroyed. – Nelson Jul 19 '18 at 4:55
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    I can confirm that I entered the US for nearly three years with a visa on an expired passport without any problems (of course presenting also a valid passport in addition to the old one) – Denis Nardin Jul 19 '18 at 10:25
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As mentioned above, it'll depend on the country, and possibly the type of visa. Many countries (most?) ask that the passport's validity covers at least the length of the visa. In all the countries I have applied a visa for (mostly Asia), both for visits and residence, I had to document the validity of my passport, and it had to be equal or longer to the length of stay. For tourists visas I was often asked to provide a passport that had a validity exceeding the length of stay by 3 to six months, which makes sense, as these were countries where you can extend your tourist visa in-country.

A notable exception I can think of is visas that by default exceed most passports' validity, like the 10-year visas given by some countries. But these aren't the most common kind of visa.

For resident visas, it could be argued that as a resident you can easily extend/renew your passport at the consulate, but the countries I have dealt with prefer to play it safe.

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    example of the exception: my dad had a lifelong business visa for the USA (do those even still exist) and had to send both old and new passport to the US embassy as needed to get the visa reapplied to the new passport. – jwenting Jul 18 '18 at 9:32
  • @jwenting The indefinite validity Burroughs Visas aren't valid anymore. The last ones aged out in 2004 (and were largely replaced by the Visa Waiver Program anyway). See What were the indefinite validity visas that used to be issued by the US before VWP was created? and the State Department FAQ – Zach Lipton Jul 18 '18 at 10:38
  • @ZachLipton Ah, my dad retired in 1997 and never needed a business visa again. He got it in the first place because his business trips were often closer together than the time required to apply for a visa. – jwenting Jul 18 '18 at 11:18
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Many countries accept visas in old passport for entry of both new and old passports are presented.

We don’t know which country’s visa you have but it’s highly probable that it will be fine.

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Details will vary from country to country, but I can share my experience. I used to have a visa for the US (this was before ESTA or other visa waiver programs), and it was issued without an expiry date.

By the time I had to renew my passport, they invalidated all the pages of my old passport, except the page with the visa (by punching three large holes through them), indicated on my new passport there was an additional visa (meaning I always had to bring the old passport along), and stapled both passports together. That construction certainly draws attention.

While it would have been interesting to see how it would have dealt with on subsequent renewals, I had to give up on the two passport construct after a few years: the old passport contained stamps issued in Israel [*], and I was planning to visit some countries who may take offense to that.

[*] Not by Israel itself, who (at least at that time) stamps on a separate piece of paper. The Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv however does.

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This happened to me with my 10-year India visa, and their policies at the time (not sure if they're still the same) required submitting both the old passport with visa, and new passport, for the visa to be "moved" (cancelled on the old passport, and a new one affixed to the new passport with the original expiration date). Of course it also carried a nice fee for the service. This definitely varies by country, and you should check the policies of the country that issued the visa.

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Normally the Thai will not give you a visa longer than your passport. But if your passport gets fully stamped during the validity of the visa and you have to get a new passport, you can just go to a Thai embassy and they will transfer your visa to the new passport.

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This has happened to me a number of times when my visa extend beyond the validly of my passport. Especially inUSA i never ever had a problem. I presented my expired passport with the valid visa alongwith my new passport abd they gave me entry without any hassle. Sajjad Mahdi

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