What is a Machine-Readable passport? A biometric passport or an e-passport?
A Machine-Readable passport has two lines of text at the bottom of the personal information page, along with the bearer’s digital photo instead of one that is glued on. A biometric passport or an e-passport contains an electronic chip that can be read by special equipment to confirm the data printed on the passport and has the international symbols for an e-passport on the passport cover.
My passport has expired or been damaged. However, I still have a valid U.S. visa in the passport. May I use the visa?
If the photo page on your passport has been damaged (e.g. has become detached, or looks like it may become detached, from the rest of the passport), please apply for a new visa in a new passport, submitting both the damaged and new passport in support of your application.
We cannot place a visa in a passport with a photo page that is even partially detached. If your passport has this problem, please apply for a new passport before submitting your visa application.
If the passport has expired, and you still have a valid visa, you may travel with two passports, i.e. your old passport with the visa, and your new passport, or apply for a new visa in your new passport. Please note that we cannot transfer a visa to another passport.
I have a visa in my old passport. Can I just transfer it over?
It is not possible to transfer a visa from one passport to another without making a new visa application.
My passport containing a valid visa has expired. I've obtained a new passport. Do I need a new visa?
If the passport in which your visa has been endorsed has expired, the visa in the old passport still can be used, provided that you also carry a valid passport of the same nationality. Note: If, when canceling your old passport, the passport authority has clipped the corners of the passport, and, in so doing, has damaged the visa in any way, that visa is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel to the United States.
May I apply for a U.S. visa when I’m just visiting Japan?
Applicants for visas to the United States should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Non-immigrant visa applicants who are resident in Japan must demonstrate compelling social, economic, and professional ties to Japan in order to qualify for most visas to the US. Temporary visitors to Japan may apply for a visa, but it is more difficult to qualify for a visa outside the country of permanent residence.
Does a visa guarantee that I can enter the United States?
A valid visa permits you to apply for admission to the United States when you arrive at the airport (or other port of entry) in the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at port of entry makes the final decision as to whether you may be admitted to the United States. It also decides how long you may stay in the United States.
I have a visa, do I also need a return ticket?
If you hold a visa of any classification, including a B-1/B-2 visa, you are not required to hold a return ticket; you may enter the United States on a one way ticket. All travelers should carry with them for presentation to U.S. officials, if required, evidence of funds sufficient for their visit and, with the exception of H and L visa holders, evidence that they have a residence abroad to which they intend returning at the end of their stay. Examples of such evidence include: traveler’s checks; return tickets; copy of latest bank statement; letter from parents saying they will support you; evidence of current employment; evidence of enrollment at an academic institution.
Does a five-year visa mean that I can stay in the United States for five years?
No. A visa only allows you to present yourself at a United States border or port of entry for inspection. The Immigrations Officer determines the amount of time you can stay in the United States once you have been granted entry. A five-year, multiple-entry visa means that you are allowed to travel to the United States as many times as you like during the five-year validity period, staying no longer than the time indicated by the Immigrations Officer.
I had a visa before. Do I automatically qualify for a renewal?
When your visa has expired and you wish to apply for another visa, please be prepared to demonstrate strong family, social, and economic ties to your country of residence at the time of your interview. Having been previously issued a visa does not guarantee that you will automatically qualify for another visa, i.e. there is no “renewal” or “renovation” of a non-immigrant visa to the United States. Just as each application for a visa is different, each time you apply for a visa you must satisfy the interviewing officer that you are entitled to the type of visa for which you are applying and that you will depart the United States at the end of your authorized temporary stay.
Does the United States recognize De Facto relationships?
No, the United States does not recognize De Facto relationships, so to qualify as a spouse for a visa application you will need a legally recognized marriage certificate or family registry, as applicable.
I received my visa but there is a mistake on my visa. What should I do?
To avoid delay in travel, please check the information printed on the visa upon receipt to confirm that it is correct. Biographic information on the visa should match the information found on the passport biographic page. If you notice a misprint on your visa, please submit this form. We will determine the legitimacy of the correction request and provide you further instructions. For Non-immigrant visas, corrections will only be available for unused visas within a year of their issuance. For immigrant visas, corrections will only be available for unused visas that are still valid.
I was born in the United States when my parents were there on assignment. I came back to Japan when I was a child and have not lived there since. I am planning to study (or work) in the US. Do I need an visa? Am I an American citizen?
Since you were born in the US, you may be an American citizen. Before applying for your non-immigrant visa, please visit the American Citizen Services office of the Embassy to verify your citizenship. If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa and must enter the United States with a U.S. passport. For a list of documents you will need to prepare, click here.
Is my "indefinite" visa still valid?
Indefinite visas are no longer valid for travel to the United States. Bearers of indefinite visas who wish to travel to the United States should apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
My passport with a U.S. visa was stolen. Why should I report it to the Embassy/Consulate?
You are highly encouraged to report the theft/loss of your passport with a valid U.S. visa to the Embassy/Consulate.
Please send us a form with necessary information. This will help protect you against identity theft and the illegal use of your identity.
I have dual citizenship in the United States and the other country. Can I apply for a U.S. visa?
No. A national of the United States shall not be issued a visa or other documentation as an alien for entry into the United States. Travelers born in the United States and those who hold dual citizenship with the United States must enter and depart the United States on U.S. passports. For how to apply for a U.S. passport, please see U.S. Citizen Services page.