I have a valid non-expired B1/B2 US visa on a cancelled passport.

I had to cancel the old passport because my last name was abbreviated as "T". It is abbreviated in the US visa as well.

I got my new passport with a corrected, non-abbreviated version of my last name as "Thevaril".

My new passport also mentions my old passport number.

Will I be allowed boarding/entry to the US if I carry both passports?

If not, then will I have to reapply for a new visa or can my visa be transferred to the new passport as it has not expired yet?


I applied for B1/B2, filled the questionnaire and was eligible for interview-waiver. All I had to do was:

  1. Schedule an appointment for drop-in.
  2. Carry DS-160, appointment letter, 2 photographs, along with my old and new passports.
  3. Inform the VAC staff at the counter that I need to update my surname on my Visa.

That's it. I received a new Visa on my new passport in 1.5 weeks. The new Visa had new expiry starting from the date of issue of new Visa.

  • 1
    I would guess that it depends on the border agent you get, and you have pretty high odds of being taken in for questioning, which is never fun. I would suggest contacting the visa office to explain the mixup and see if they can issue a new visa before attempting to enter the country. Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 15:34
  • 4
    @scatter I agree that it depends on the border agent; I suspect that you're wrong about the likelihood of the border agent causing trouble. But there's another risk: that the airline won't accept the visa with the difference in name and will therefore deny boarding. I would try to check with the airline before judging the likelihood. The US consulate will also certainly require a new application, including a new fee, to issue the new visa: there's no mixup; the existing visa was issued correctly according to the passport that was presented with the application.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


See the State Department page About Visas - The Basics:

If your name has legally changed through marriage, divorce, or a court ordered name change, you will need to obtain a new passport. Once you have a new passport, the Department of State recommends that you apply for a new U.S. visa to make it easier for you to travel to and from the United States.

Now this is not quite your situation, but it does imply that you can travel to the US with a valid visa in an old passport where the name does not match your valid passport. They don't recommend it, however.

The problem you're likely to have the most trouble with isn't the immigration inspector at the border but the airline agent issuing your boarding pass. I would consider calling the airline to ask about that, but don't be surprised if they refuse to give a clear answer. Airlines typically won't do so because they do not want to be bound by an answer that may have been given without access to all the facts.

In the end this comes down to your risk tolerance: are you prepared for the possibility of struggling with the ground staff? Are you prepared for the possibility of losing that struggle and not being allowed to board? How likely do you think those outcomes are?

I think you're likely to be able to board, but I'm not at all confident about that. If you are able to board, I'm far more confident that you won't have much trouble at the immigration inspection.

If not, then will I have to reapply for a new visa or can my visa be transferred to the new passport as it has not expired yet?

The US doesn't transfer visas. You can certainly apply for a new visa if you want more peace of mind.

  • 2
    (+1) If the OP has to self-transfer to make the trip to the US, and/or rely on the cancelled passport/valid visa combination to avail themselves of TWOV, seems to me the risk of being denied boarding/transit along the way is also a possibility, in addition to the risk of denial at the original departure point
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 15:19

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