My significant other has an expired visa which allowed him to enter the US legally. However, this was almost two years ago this summer.

Would they be allowed to travel on vacation to another state via airplane?

  • He lives in a country with an experied visa? Some new things for me :-o – yo' Feb 24 '14 at 18:49
  • @tohecz In the US it's called Illegal or Undocumented Alien... – Karlson Feb 24 '14 at 20:04
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    @tohecz If s/he has a valid status, it's not illegal to have an expired visa. The visa is only for entering the country; while in the country, you must maintain a valid status. For example, it's possible to have a valid visa but an invalid status (in that case, you're considered "illegal"). – Ansari Feb 24 '14 at 20:04
  • @Ansari Ok, thanks. I wasn't aware of this distinction. – yo' Feb 24 '14 at 20:23
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    Asked by Worried, edited by Annoyed? What's next, closed by grumpy? – corsiKa Feb 24 '14 at 23:48

Travel between US states never requires presenting a visa. When boarding the plane, you will be required to present a valid, current ID, but they won't check your visa status then.

Only if you raise suspicion in some manner (trying to carry knives on board or something), is anyone likely to inquire about visa status.

One exception would be that if you end up driving north, away from the Mexican border, you may pass a US Border interior checkpoint, where your visa status may be checked.

For example, if you were to fly from Denver, Colorado, to McAllen, Texas, then drive to Houston, your visa status could be checked on the drive.

But it doesn't sound like you're planning a road trip where this would apply.

  • This free trade zone is interesting - does this apply to Detroit for example? I've driven in and out of Detroit multiple times and have never seen a checkpoint. – Ansari Feb 25 '14 at 5:01
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    @Ansari There are many checkpoints in the Southwest, as drugs and smuggled workers come north more often than south. Interstate 5 between San Diego and Los Angeles, a big and very busy freeway, is often subject to random inspections of trucks, for instance. – choster Feb 25 '14 at 13:50
  • @Ansari: There are internal checkpoints near the border, see for instance en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. But I couldn't find any information about the claimed 15-mile free trade zone. Some of these checkpoints are well over 15 miles from the border, often 60 miles or more. On the other hand, these checkpoints only operate some of the time, and most vehicles are just waved through. I'd say your status "could" be checked, not that it "will". – Nate Eldredge Feb 25 '14 at 16:13
  • @NateEldredge: I believe the NAFTA rules say there is a 15-mile (25km) "free trade zone" within the borders of all North American countries. That in effect poses a lower bound on where the checkpoints can be--they can't be closer than 15 miles. They could be farther, and often are, if it makes it easier to construct fewer checkpoints. – Flimzy Feb 25 '14 at 16:22
  • My reading about NAFTA and free trade zones is leading me to believe that my understanding of the hows and whys of the interior checkpoints may be flawed, but it doesn't change the fact that I know there are interior checkpoints, because I've been through them countless times. :) – Flimzy Feb 25 '14 at 18:13

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