I recently obtained a US visa (B1/B2) for a week-long vacation. The visa is valid for 3 months, and this fully covers my week-long travel.

However, there is an "Annotation" field on the visa that includes the text "22 Dec - 29 Dec". My flight will be arriving the afternoon of December 21st. Will this cause problems when I enter the US? Even though the visa is valid for that date, I'm wondering if I should reschedule the flight to match the annotation field.

The annotation in full is:

Personal travel
Indianapolis, IN
22 Dec - 29 Dec

My nationality is Thai and it was issued from the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. I'm allowed two entries, but I only plan to use one.

  • @MichaelHampton why would the traveler's nationality or the issuing consulate matter?
    – phoog
    Nov 30, 2018 at 19:16
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    @phoog The nationality will tell me if visa reciprocity played a factor in the visa validity being only three months. As for the issuing consulate, mainly I'm curious so I'm trying to collect information. There is one US embassy (Manila) that I know uses visa annotations extensively, even when there's no obvious reason to restrict a visa. AFAIK they're pretty rare from everywhere else. Nov 30, 2018 at 19:22
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    @MichaelHampton thanks for clarifying. Will: your three-month visa gives you a three-month window to arrive in the US. The immigration officer will admit you for a period that does not depend on your visa's validity (it is normally six months). This doesn't matter much, of course, if you're only planning to visit for one week, but others in similar circumstances might benefit from this information.
    – phoog
    Nov 30, 2018 at 19:34
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    @Will It looks like you posted before you hit "join this community", and now have two accounts. You may want to contact Stack Overflow to have them merged so that you can take ownership of your question. Hit the contact link at the bottom of the page. Dec 1, 2018 at 4:07
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    Hm, OK, you're a rare case then. Thai nationals usually get a 10 year multiple entry B1/B2 visa without any annotation. The consulate probably considered your case a marginal one, and offered a limited visa instead of a refusal. If you use this and don't overstay you may get unrestricted visas in future (but not guaranteed). Dec 1, 2018 at 5:15

1 Answer 1


A former consular office explained annotations on reddit:

a "borderline" visa issuance in terms of the consular officer's judgment call when the visa was initially issued, but not suspicious enough to deny entry. So they were just making notes to check up on it later.

It was basically one officer communicating to a future officer, "hey, you might want to give this one a second look if they visit again."

So there. Your visa is valid when it says it's valid and it is perfectly normal to present yourself one day early. But if you were to present yourself after 29 Dec for admission then you can expect closer scrutiny, likely a secondary inspection. While secondary inspection is extremely daunting, it is not an automatic denial, I was sent into secondary once and less than a year later I was admitted into a "trusted traveler" program even. For example, if you were presenting paperwork showing your original vacation was an organized tour which was cancelled and they rescheduled you and this new date is still covered by the visa validity then I'd expect they would let you in.

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