1

I know there have been similar questions as listed below.

My question is for a specific type of damage which I believe requires a separate consideration.

My old passport binding and booklet is separated. Though it is separated, I have both with me. Apart from this there are no other issues. The passport first 2 pages, last 2 pages and US visa is absolutely readable without any issues.

I have applied for a fresh passport as I'm not allowed to travel in damaged passport.

Question

Is it okay to travel to US from India by carrying the new passport and old passport(which has US visa) with binding off?

I'm in a dilemma because I read the following FAQ Question and Answer in US Embassy website.

Question: My passport has expired or been damaged. However, I still have a valid U.S. visa in the passport. May I use the visa?

Answer: If the photo page on your passport has been damaged (e.g. has become detached, or looks like it may become detached, from the rest of the passport), please apply for a new visa in a new passport, submitting both the damaged and new passport in support of your application.

In my case, photo page is not torn/separated from the rest of the passport pages but separated from the outer binding.

It would be really helpful if someone with a similar situation travelled successfully without any issues reply.

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  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Is B1 visa in perfect condition valid on old damaged passport? – Giorgio Feb 12 at 13:46
  • @Giorgio: Thanks, I re-read the question. It is not a duplicate because writing on paper damage V/S outer binding coming off damage is very different in terms of severity. – HelpMatters Feb 13 at 6:35
  • @HonoraryWorldCitizen : Appreciate your input. I have edited my question to include the FAQ from the US embassy. If you read it and read my exact situation, you might be able to see how none of the existing questions answer my exact situation. I understand it is our collective responsibility to make sure we don't duplicate questions just because someone is lazy to search. But I believe, it is also our collective responsibility to help individuals with their particular case. – HelpMatters Feb 13 at 6:35
  • Thank you @HonoraryWorldCitizen. Reading your comment relieves me a bit :) I hope it'll be fine. Just for context, reason for my extreme precaution is because, a few months back, I faced a transit visa issue due to which I couldn't reach my destination and got stuck in the wrong airport and had to come back. – HelpMatters Feb 13 at 13:42
  • The main risk is from you being denied boarding in India by the airlines, which is very unlikely. It will take a very mean immigration officer at the USA airport to send you back to India over this issue. – ThE iLlEgAl aLiEn Feb 13 at 13:44
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In my experience one should avoid applying for a new US visa as much as possible if one has an existing visa (In September 1999 I applied for a new USA visa about a week before my existing visa expired, and I was denied. Consular officers can be very unpredictable and anything can happen in an interview. What if you get denied? At the visa interview they tend to evaluate you all over again, they will not just slap a new visa in your passport because you have a viable one in your damaged passport.

After reviewing your case, I still believe you are fine. What I would do in your case is attach the two parts together using something very subtle like invisible super glue. Don't forget the immigration officers at the airport are human beings.

There are three things which can happen if you follow my suggestion:

  1. They do not even notice the damage in the old passport, and simply let you through -GOOD
  2. They notice the previously damaged passport, but do not bother and let you through - GOOD
  3. They notice the previously damaged passport and make a fuss about it - BAD

Of the three things which could happen, two are good and even the third which is bad is unlikely to lead to you being refused entry. It will take a very mean immigration officer to return you to India for something as minor as a genuine visa in a damaged passport.

Dress professionally, be polite and project an air of respectful confidence and you should be okay.

  • After saying all that, let me add that if your profile is such that getting approved for a new visa is almost a certainty e.g. good job, married, good travel history, good ties to India, good finances, then it is okay to apply for a new visa so that you do not have any tension during your trip. It looks like you are a little bit of a worrier and sometimes the immigration officers (who are trained to evaluate body language) can pick on such nervousness and harass you. – ThE iLlEgAl aLiEn Feb 13 at 13:47

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