I have multiple visas. Is it okay to have multiple visas in my passport at the same time? If I have two visas can I enter the U.S. on both visas?

I have multiple visas. Is it okay to have multiple visas in my passport at the same time? If I have two visas can I enter the U.S. on both visas?

For most foreign nationals the process of applying for a nonimmigrant visa involves filling out a DS160 form, gathering supporting documents and visiting a U.S. Consulate for an interview with a consular officer. (There are some limited exceptions for Canadian nationals who are able to enter the U.S. without a visa for tourism and can also get certain nonimmigrant visas at the border such as the TN visa and L visa). Applicants that are from certain countries may also bypass a formal visa by applying for ESTA through the visa waiver program.  This application process is done online and the applicant does not have to go to a U.S. Consulate abroad.  If you have to apply for a visa at a Consulate and you meet all the eligibility requirements for the visa, the consular officer will collect your passport to put a visa stamp in it. Below are some important points to keep in mind if you have or are applying for multiple U.S. visas.

You are permitted to have two concurrently valid visas, but not two valid visas of the same type

If you apply for two types of visas and are eligible for both visas, consular officers are permitted to issue two concurrently valid visas. For example, you may have a B1/B2 visa for tourist purposes that was granted for 10 years and also be issued an E-2 visa to run a business in the United States. In this scenario your valid B1/B2 visa would not be cancelled when you received the E-2 visa and you could enter the U.S. on either visa depending on the purpose of your trip.

However, you are not permitted to possess two valid visas of the same type in your passport at the same time. For example, if you had an H-1B visa in your passport that was valid until July 1, 2017 and you then changed employers and got a new validity date of August 2, 2019 and went to a Consulate to get a new H-1B visa stamp, the officer would cancel your previous H-1B visa and put a new H-1B visa stamp in your passport that reflected the updated validity period. You would not be permitted to have two valid H-1B visa stamps in your passport at the same time.  While you will only have one visa stamp in your passport, you may be permitted to work at other employers in the same visa category provided USCIS approval was obtained.  For example, a person can be approved for one H-1B visa (eg. a part-time position) and obtain a visa stamp at the Consulate.  They can then obtain USCIS approval for a second H-1B employer in the U.S. and can also work for that employer. Similarly, a Canadian or Mexican national can have multiple TN jobs in the U.S. as long as they are approved to work at the employer.

You can only use one visa to enter the U.S. and the visa you enter on will control your status

While you are permitted to have multiple valid visas in your passport, you can only enter the U.S. with one visa. After you have been inspected at a port of entry and lawfully admitted to the United States, you will be granted a status, which gives you certain rights and controls the activities you may lawfully engage in while they are in the U.S.

You can learn more about the difference between a visa and a visa status here.

When you have multiple visas you should enter on the visa that is most appropriate for the activities you plan to undertake in the U.S. to ensure you do not violate your status. Going back to the example above, if you have a B1/B2 tourist visa and an E-2 visa and you plan to work in the U.S. during your trip, you must enter on your E-2 work visa. If you enter on your tourist visa you will be in in B-2 status and will not be authorized to work.

To find out more about the new rules or other investor visas, contact Scott Legal, P.C.

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Ian E. Scott, Esq. is the Founder of Scott Legal, P.C. He can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at info@legalservicesincorporated.com.


This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising.  Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed.  Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results.  Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

May 16th, 2017|53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Kayla Zosa March 19, 2019 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Hello! Is it possible to have an H1B visa while waiting for an F2 visa to get approved?

  2. Yoonhwa Choi March 19, 2019 at 8:18 am - Reply

    Hi, currently I have two valid visas which are f1 and f2. Are these a same type of visas or not? Can I choose one of these when I enter the US with valid i-20?

    • IanScott March 28, 2019 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. The system allows you to select a day and time. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://ScheduleScottLegalConsultation.as.me/

      Kind regards,

  3. ayesha February 12, 2019 at 1:43 am - Reply

    Can I apply for b1/b2 while k1 visa is under processing?

    • IanScott February 19, 2019 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. The system allows you to select a day and time. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://ScheduleScottLegalConsultation.as.me/

      Kind regards,

  4. Paul Martin February 9, 2019 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    If I have a valid B1B2 Visa and my company wants me to have a B1 OCS for offshore work ing the US, will they cancel my B1B2 Visa? Is it possible to have both B1B2 and B1 OCS visas at the same time? Thanks

    • IanScott February 10, 2019 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. The system allows you to select a day and time. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://ScheduleScottLegalConsultation.as.me/

      Kind regards,

  5. Lauren February 9, 2019 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    CAn you apply for an E2 visa and immediate relative (marriage less than 2 years) at the same time?

    • IanScott February 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      This would likely encounter problems. Please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation.

  6. Steven February 8, 2019 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    I have a B1/B2 visa, would this be canceled if I apply for O visa?

    • IanScott February 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Not necessarily. They could but likely would not.

  7. hhy February 7, 2019 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Hi I am currently on a Canadian TN visa,

    I have decided to leave my job and go back to school in the US. Is it possible to re-enter the U.S with my I-20 before my TN visa’s expiration date?

    Thank you

    • IanScott February 10, 2019 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      No. You can only enter on a TN if you plan to do TN work.

  8. Mia Nikkhah January 27, 2019 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Hey

    I am a meeting planner from the UK with British Citizen Passport but born in Iran (never been back to Iran only there until age of 3 but got rejected on the ESTA) and I’m due to travel to USA to oversee the conference I have been planning in the UK for USA doctors. I don’t know if this is classified as business or lesuire? I will also stay one day for lesuire do I need to apply for B1 and B2 tourist visa?

    Thanks

    • IanScott January 31, 2019 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. The system allows you to select a day and time. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://ScheduleScottLegalConsultation.as.me/

      Kind regards,

  9. Mostafa January 16, 2019 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Hi, I have B1/B2 Visa valid until 2022, if I want to apply for J1 Visa (internship) will they cancel my B1/B2 visa, if J1 visa rejected?

    Regards,

    • IanScott January 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://ScheduleScottLegalConsultation.as.me/

      Kind regards,

  10. Faith January 13, 2019 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Hi,
    My fianće already filed a K1 petition and we are waiting for approval from USCIS. When my employer heard that I will be moving anytime they offered to have me transferred instead of me resigning from my job. We are looking into filing an L1B visa. How does this application affect the K1 and in the same way, how does the K1 application affect the L1B?
    Thank you.

    • IanScott January 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://ScheduleScottLegalConsultation.as.me/

      Kind regards,

  11. Jane December 25, 2018 at 2:52 am - Reply

    Hi, currently i have my C 1D visa valid until 2022 but now i am applying for a K1 visa in regard with this i would like to know if it is possible to apply even i still have valid US visa…thanx

    • IanScott December 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Yes, you can apply with a U.S. visa.

  12. Tara morrison December 9, 2018 at 11:45 am - Reply

    I have a b1 visa that has my boss name stamp on it and it is valid for 10 years and i only can travel with my boss …… Can I apply for a visitors visa so I can travel on my own…. If yes how do I go about applying

  13. Irene November 20, 2018 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Hi,

    I am a Canadian studying in the US under F1/I-20 Visa.
    I recently got a TN visa so I can work as a dentist.
    Can I have both visa, or do I have to terminate my I-20?

    Thank you

    • IanScott November 28, 2018 at 11:30 am - Reply

      You can only be in the U.S. in one status. Kind regards,

  14. Irene November 19, 2018 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Hello,

    I am currently a student under I-20/ F1 visa.
    I was recently given an offer to work part-time and obtained a TN visa (as I am Canadian).
    Can I have both visa? Or how do I address this?

    • IanScott November 28, 2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

      You can only be in the U.S. in one status but one status does not cancel visas.

  15. Snathoshi November 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Hi,

    I am a canadian citizen and am currently on L-2 Visa. I applied for my EAD document and it takes more than 150 days for processing. In the meanwhile if i have a valid Job offer Can I apply for a TN visa? Will that compromise my status and my EAD processing in anyway?

    • IanScott November 18, 2018 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      The EAD should be processed soon. It could impact the EAD.

  16. lukie October 26, 2018 at 2:11 am - Reply

    Hey i have both student visas for the Uk and the US but i am currently in college in the US. What could happen to me?

    • IanScott November 8, 2018 at 6:09 am - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      Kind regards,

  17. Cris October 12, 2018 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Hi.. I have b1/b2 multiple visa for 10yrs and currently applying for a k1 visa? In this regard, will they cancel my b1/b2?

    • IanScott October 14, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

      They do not have to cancel the B1B2 but they likely will given the nature of the K visa where you will enter to adjust status.

  18. judith October 1, 2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Hello. I currently have a J1- visa for 6 months of the year (summer). Am I able to get a J-1 visa for a different place of employment when the first one is up, for a few months in the winter, and then switch back to the summer visa? I do not have the winter job yet, just wondering.

    • IanScott October 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. You should check with your plan sponsor. We do not regularly process J visas.

  19. SK September 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I’m currently outside of US and have a valid stamped work visa (L1). Can I transit thru and airport in the US while traveling to another country?

    • IanScott September 29, 2018 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      Sorry, I do not understand your question.

  20. Matt Kadolph August 15, 2018 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I am currently in the process of obtaining a marriage based green card. However, I am a pro hockey player who will need to apply for a P-1 visa. Am I allowed to apply for a “new” but different visa while my other is still processing?

    • IanScott August 25, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. We would need more information. Please let us know if you would like to set up a one hour consultation to discuss. Kind regards,

  21. Saad Yousef June 7, 2018 at 3:12 am - Reply

    Hi,
    My daughter have B1/B2 Visa and she also have F1 Visa. Her classes starts Sept 17, 2018.
    We are planning on visiting the US during July and August.
    My question is, can she enter with us on the B1/B2 visa in July and convert to F1 visa during September?

    • IanScott June 21, 2018 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Please contact us if you would like to set up a one hour consultation.
      Kind regards,

  22. Nina June 5, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Can i get a h1b visa to work in the us and also get a study visa to pursue education at the same time? Thanks…

    • IanScott June 21, 2018 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      You can only have one valid status at a time.

  23. Rahul April 20, 2018 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Hi

    I am on an L1 visa in US and my wife is also on L1 visa.
    However, I plan to quit my current job after which my L1 visa will be invalid as it is tied to my employment.

    Can I apply for my L2 right now before quitting my job?
    Basically I will end up having both my L1 and L2 visa in that case.
    Is that allowed?

    • IanScott May 23, 2018 at 8:30 am - Reply

      I do not understand your question. Please contact us for a one hour consultation. Kind regards,

  24. Mary March 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    I am on H1B currently and was accepted to a doctoral program and would like to get a F1. International students advisor said I should leave the US and apply for a F1, rather than going through COS. My understanding from this article is that I could apply and get F1 stamped while I have a valid H1B and the H1B will remain valid and I could choose which status I’d be on based on the purpose of visit of the time by clarifying at a port of entry ( correct me if I’m wrong, plz). Is it true that applying for a new F1 out of the US will be more secure way than COS? Thank you for your help.

    • IanScott March 29, 2018 at 9:02 am - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Please let us know if you would like to set up a one hour consultation. We would be happy to help.

      Kind regards,

  25. BambouDG March 9, 2018 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Would it be possible to file a K-1 visa and then get granted a J-1 while the K-1 process is pending?
    My fiancé and I are filing for the K-1 soon (I’m the Belgian beneficiary with a valid tourist visa), but I also have an opportunity to do an unpaid internship in Washington through my university.

    Will that cause any problems?

    Thank you in advance

    • IanScott March 16, 2018 at 3:24 am - Reply

      It is not likely that this would be possible. Please call us for a consultation if you would like to discuss further.

  26. Apj1 February 7, 2018 at 12:18 am - Reply

    My wife and I are in the US on H-1.
    I have a valid H-1B visa stamp for 3 years.
    My wife has her own valid H-1B visa stamp for 3 years.

    I wish to take a sabbatical outside the US for 1 year.
    Could I get a H4 stamp on my passport and enter/re-enter on H4 for the 1 year sabbatical from H1?
    After 1 year, I would enter on my previously valid H-1B visa stamp.

    Summarizing, could I have 2 valid visas H-1B (employer A) and H4 (from spouse H1 with employer B) at the same time on my passport?
    (or do H-1 and H-4 come under the same type “H”?)

  27. Aj November 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    in the mentioned example, can a person enter on B1 visa in the usa and covert to already stamped f1 visa while in the usa?

    • IanScott November 16, 2017 at 1:13 am - Reply

      I do not fully understand the question but B visas often have to be annotated if you want to change status. Please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

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