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I'm about to travel to the US. I own two passports (from different nationalities), one of them out of date but with a valid US visa.

Can I enter the US with a valid visa and a valid passport even though they were issued by different countries?

EDIT after @birryree 's answer:

The valid passport applies to VWP. And the requirements for applying to ESTA reads:

  • You are a citizen or eligible national of a Visa Waiver Program country. >
  • You are currently not in possession of a visitor's visa.
  • [...]
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    First question ever. Common downvoter, at least tell me what you didn't like. – Melquíades Ochoa Sep 27 '16 at 22:04
  • Interesting enough, I was in the same situation as described in US State Department Visa FAQ (two passports from same country, one valid, one expired with valid US visa), CBP officer decided to admit me into the US, but I didn't got admission stamp along with annotiation "VIOPP" - (Visa In Other Passport). – user45467 Sep 28 '16 at 2:11
  • My dad once was in that situation. He had a permanent visa to the US, unlimited access without time limit, because of his extremely frequent business travel (once a month AT LEAST for over a decade).<br/> When he got a new passport and didn't have time to get his visa transferred to the new one he would indeed take both passports with him and that's suffice as a temporary solution. Of course it's a temporary solution, do get the visa transferred to the new passport as soon as you can at an embassy or consulate. – jwenting Sep 28 '16 at 6:33
  • Hi @MelquíadesOchoa! Sorry to revive this old question. But I have a similar situation. A not expired visa on an invalid passport from one country that needs visa to enter (along with a new passport from that country without the visa), and a passport of one of the countries that can apply for the VWP. Were you able to do it in the end? I mean apply to the VWP with your passport from there even if you had a Visa in you other passport. – crscardellino Mar 20 at 13:11
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    @crscardellino Yes, take both your new passport and the old one with the visa, that will work as long as they are issued by the same country. If you choose to use the other one which applies to VWP then the visa will be useless and you will have to fill and pay the ESTA form. – Melquíades Ochoa Apr 1 at 16:19
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If your two passports were the same type and issued by the same country, then the valid visa you have in your expired passport would work.

If your two passports are from different countries, the visa you have in your expired one will not be valid.

From the US State Department Visa FAQ (emphasis mine):

My old passport has already expired. My visa to travel to the United States is still valid but in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa with my new passport?

No. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports, as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel. (Example: tourist visa, when your principal purpose of travel is tourism). Both passports (the valid and the expired one with the visa) should be from the same country and type (Example: both Uruguayan regular passports, both official passports, etc.).

When you arrive at the U.S. port-of-entry (POE, generally an airport or land border) the Customs and Border Protection Immigration Officer will check your visa in the old passport and if s/he decides to admit you into the United States they will stamp your new passport with an admission stamp along with the annotation "VIOPP" (visa in other passport). Do not try to remove the visa from your old passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.

  • Ok, sounds like I will need a visa for the valid passport. However the valid passport applies to VWP. And the requirements for applying to ESTA [reads] (esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html): > You are a citizen or eligible national of a Visa Waiver Program country. > You are currently not in possession of a visitor's visa. – Melquíades Ochoa Sep 27 '16 at 21:45
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    @aureliano Since your visa is from a different country's passport, you'd be entering under the VWP on your valid passport. You should be able to apply for ESTA with your valid passport. You are not considered in possession of a visitor's visa with the passport/issuing country. – wkl Sep 27 '16 at 22:09
  • this seems to mean the visa in your older passport is de-facto invalid so you should be eligible for VWP – user13267 Sep 28 '16 at 0:18
  • @aureliano You do NOT Need a visa for your valid passport, you can enter visa-free using it. If your expired passport had been of the same nationality, you would Need to use the visa in it, but since it's not, the visa becomes invalid – Crazydre Sep 28 '16 at 4:32

protected by phoog Feb 8 '18 at 17:31

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