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I am a US citizen. I'm married to a UK citizen. I spent the last 6 months in the UK with him but my travel visa expired so I am now back in the US.

I am about to apply for a spouse visa but realized my passport (issued in 2004) expires December 2014. Do I need to renew my US passport before applying for the UK spouse visa?

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Yes, it's probably a good idea to renew your passport. The visa will be a full-page sticker that is affixed to your passport, and can't be moved to another passport. When your current passport expires, you would have to either:

  • Apply for a transfer of your visa to your new passport (likely with a cost)
  • Carry your old passport (with your visa) and your new passport whenever you travel

You're going to want to have a new passport soon anyway, since you won't be able to do things like enter another country with an expired passport. It makes sense to renew your passport now and then apply for the visa.

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