I got an American Visa (10 years Visa) in 2014, and my passport expired in 2018. Although I've renewed my passport, the visa stamp is on the old passport.

Does the immigration at the New York Airport require a Visa Stamp? Or would it be alright if they could scan the new passport and get visa details that are stamped on my old passport.

Cause I guess, the stamp is probably not required now days when everything is digital, and maybe I could travel with only my renewed passport.

Just curious, cause I kind of kept my old passport in a safe place and don't remember where it is anymore.

Thanks for any help.

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Traveling to the US with new passport, visa on the old one
    – aland
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 0:06
  • 1
    @aland that question is asking whether it's possible to use both passports together (to which the answer is "yes"), while this one is asking if it's possible to use the valid visa in the old passport without actually bringing it with you, showing only the new passport (to which the answer is "no"). So this question is not the same as that one.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 8:15
  • I love the bit about how you were so worried about keeping it safe that you lost it :-) Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 12:50
  • You can enter US provided you present the new passport and the old one which has valid US Visa. In my case it has happened precisely like that. Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 9:24

1 Answer 1


You must present the visa at the immigration desk. This means that you must bring both your old (invalid) passport with the valid visa and your new valid passport. If you cannot find the old passport, you will need to apply for a new visa. See for example About Visas - The Basics at the website of the US State Department:

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.

While it is true that the technology exists to check your visa without actually having the sticker in hand, US immigration law hasn't adapted to that reality. Furthermore, the airline will not even allow you to board the plane unless you can show the visa.

  • 1
    I don't think it's an issue of "adapting to that reality". Without requiring a physical visa, if a country has lax passport security, somebody can get a fake passport made and enter the US on that. The US, on the other hand, has control of their physical visas and their security features. Thus, somebody has to be able to fake a passport and fake the US visa to get in.
    – user71659
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 2:05
  • 5
    @user71659 as visas are stored in a database, a fake passport would have to match the name and number of the passport of someone else who has actually been granted a visa. And the person would have to match the photograph on the visa (and in most cases the fingerprints of the visa applicant), for those are stored as well. This seems rather more difficult than forging a visa sticker, though admittedly it's harder to do all of that and forge a visa sticker than just to do all of that.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 3:09
  • Some countries punch a hole through (all the pages of) the expired passport before handing out the new one. I wonder if a visa will be considered "damaged" in this case. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 6:39
  • @user71659 if that was the case countries would not be stopping issuing physical visas, but they are. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 6:42
  • 1
    @AndrewSavinykh The US is a high profile target. There's still countries that use ink stamps for visas.
    – user71659
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 22:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .