My parents traveled to the USA a couple of weeks ago (Caracas - Miami). It wasn't their first time; they've probably come and gone a dozen times by now, and they've never had a single issue. This time, the immigration guy was kind of pompous and, once they told him they weren't staying at a hotel but with some friends, he began looking at them somewhat funny. Finally, he stamped their passports (normally, with entry date and a 6-month term of stay) but he put an additional stamp, one that no one they asked had seen before:

stamp in question, on the upper left corner, nearly identically placed on both passports

It seems to be the same usual entry stamp, but cut in half. What does it mean? Should we be concerned?

  • 2
    Both. It's just the usual entry stamp, cut in half. And no one they asked had seen it placed that way before. Feb 3 '17 at 0:52
  • Sure, seems a bit more understandable Feb 3 '17 at 1:15
  • I'm thinking that it's because they prefer to stamp on the facing page or across the edge of the visa the first time a visa is used, and couldn't do so because the facing page was already full of stamps. But it could be any number of reasons. If you were admitted, it is no problem. Sometimes they like to act like they don't believe you, to see how you will react. Feb 3 '17 at 2:34
  • Yeah, but their visas had been used several times, on the pages next to them, they had never had the visas themselves stamped. And this was an extra stamp, after the protocolar one, just seems weird to me. Feb 3 '17 at 2:53
  • @CarajitoLoco so this is a multiple-entry B visa, and it's not the first time this specific visa sticker was used. Is that correct?
    – phoog
    Feb 3 '17 at 3:53

I would not worry too much. As long as you have the stamp that shows their date of entry into the country, that's all you need. It seems like you have done everything by the book, therefore there is nothing to worry.


It is an old INS practice to discourage use of stolen visas. It is not a problem.

  • 5
    Can you add some more information about this?
    – VMAtm
    Oct 15 '18 at 17:10
  • 1
    What does this do to discourage the use of stolen visas? Oct 15 '18 at 18:05
  • 4
    It serves two purposes: 1) it “cancels” the visa by showing its been used at least once and 2) the overlap onto the physical passport page makes it more difficult to steam the visa sticker off the passport and try to use it on another passport. Both are now moot given the use of electronic record keeping.
    – RoboKaren
    Oct 15 '18 at 19:19
  • @RoboKaren It's not exactly moot because it helps authorities in foreign countries, a well as airline check-in agents, which do not have access to US immigration data detect fraud.
    – user71659
    Oct 15 '18 at 21:47
  • 1
    @user71659 true but you would still need to go through immigration check once you landed before you can enter the country.
    – kiradotee
    Mar 6 '20 at 14:59

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