I have a valid B1 visa until 2020 and recently my Indian passport got damaged on the front and back, applied for a new passport.

My visa is in a very good condition and passport is also in good condition. Can you please tell me whether I can travel on the visa or should I apply for a new visa?


Short answer (with thanks to commenters):

Yes, you can travel with the existing visa, and no, you do not need to apply for a new visa. However, you need to be sure that the visa in your old passport has not been invalidated (possibly due to a hole through the complete passport), and take your old passport with you. That question is answered here.

More detail for general cases (not USA only):

Most countries have their visas listed digitally. However, your new passport will have a different passport number, and your visa is linked to this number.

I never had to re-apply for a new visa when I updated my passport. When I applied for a new passport, I requested to receive my old passport back as it still had valid visas. Therefore, I traveled with both the new and old passport: the old passport was invalidated, but its visas were not.

If the department that issues your new passport puts a hole into the complete old passport, it also invalidates its visas. Make sure that doesn't happen, and most likely you will not have any issues.

However, it's always good to call the embassy where your visa was issued, and inform them that your passport number has changed.

  • 2
    not sure this answers the question... Jun 27 '16 at 4:18
  • 2
    Yeah that's not how it works for US visas. It's perfectly fine to renew your passport and have your visa in your old passport and just travel with both. This is true even if the old passport has a hole in it, as some countries do when cancelling old passports. Where the OP may have trouble is that their old passport is in some way damaged. Jun 27 '16 at 4:23
  • @ZachLipton I'm pretty sure I read somewhere recently that if the invalidation of the old passport results in the US visa being clipped or punched then it is in fact no longer valid and becomes necessary to apply for a new one. I'm not entirely sure, though, that it was in fact US visas being discussed. Still, if they damage the machine readable part of the visa, I expect you'd need a new one, as this no doubt counts as a "damaged visa" (see the page you linked to).
    – phoog
    Jun 27 '16 at 4:53
  • @phoog if the page where the visa is got clipped, it is invalid and you'll need to apply for a new visa. Otherwise the visa is valid even if it is in an old passport. First hand experience here. Jun 27 '16 at 4:57
  • @phoog That's a good point. If the US visa is damaged then you have a problem. If the old passport cover just has the standard hole in it but the visa is in good shape, then I presume you're fine. For the OP, we don't really know how damaged the passport is, which likely mattes. Jun 27 '16 at 5:00

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