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I am currently in the US on B-1/B-2 status valid till mid-February 2017, and my passport is valid till June 2017. While in the US I want to apply for a Canadian visitor visa. I'm thinking of renewing my passport before applying, so the visa would be on my new passport that's valid for the next five years (Canadian visitor visa is usually valid for five years).

I'm going to leave the USA before my B-1 status expires.

Should I inform USCIS or any other officials that I have renewed my passport while I was here in the US?

Can they automatically associate the information on my previous passport with the new passport I'm using to leave next month?

My concern is I don't want USCIS get back to me in the future saying we have no record of you leaving the country, and won't issue future visas for me!

  • What passport do you hold? Are you in the USA currently? – chx Jan 14 '17 at 21:39
  • You can/should ask for your old passport to be handed back to you, take that with you when you leave the USA and return to the USA. Most likely you will not need it but it may help you feeling confident. – Willeke Jan 14 '17 at 22:17
  • Yes I'm currently in the USA. Thanks for the reminder. I'll definitely take the older passport back. – Ash3323 Jan 14 '17 at 23:00
  • I'd add that you should make sure you check your I-94 arrival/departure record online after you leave, to ensure your departure was recorded properly. It should be, but if it wasn't for some reason, you should retain proof that you left the US on time, just in case. But as Doc notes, they have all the relevant records available, and you certainly won't be the first person in this situation. – Zach Lipton Jan 15 '17 at 0:56
  • Even if you apply for a visa on your current passport; and the expiry date is beyond the date of the passport - you can still travel with it. Passports with valid visas that expire, doesn't mean that the visa is expired as well. You can travel with the expired passport - along with your new passport. The your new passport will be stamped (if so required) with any entry/exit stamps based on the visa in your old passport. – Burhan Khalid Jan 15 '17 at 3:08
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Yes, you can do this, and no, there is no need to tell anyone that you have done it.

A US Visa is only relevant as an entry document - once you are in the US it is no longer relevant, and it is your I94 (either physical, or as they generally are now, the relevant entry on a computer) that dictates your status in the US.

When you renew your passport, both your US Visa (in the old passport), and your I94 remain current up until their relevant expiry dates.

There is one potential issue, which is the one you've mentioned - your I94 exit record (on the new passport) may not be correctly tied to your entry record (on the old passport). In theory this would never become a problem as they will automatically link the two passports based on your personal details, and most importantly based on your fingerprints - however if for some reason this didn't happen automatically it would be a trivial exercise to point out what had occurred and have them match the relevant entry and exit records together.

Personally I've renewed my Australian passport twice whilst in the US on a visa, and I've never had any issues doing so, or when subsequently leaving/entering the US on future visits. The only difference I noticed was on the first entry using the new passport they took fingerprints from all 10 fingers, instead of the 4 they normally take when I enter the country. According to the immigration official who did this last time I entered with a new passport, this was so they could confirm the linkage between the old and new passports.

  • How would they link the exit using fingerprints? Travelers are not fingerprinted on exit. – phoog Jan 15 '17 at 3:20
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    On re-entry (or possibly at a visa interview) they will link the two passports based upon information including the fingerprints. Then the full series of entries/exits will be available. – Doc Jan 15 '17 at 3:53
  • Thanks for everyone's replies and comments. Much appreciated. – Ash3323 Jan 17 '17 at 17:04

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