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?

By May 16, 2017December 2nd, 2020Immigration

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.

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106 Comments

  • Nashima says:

    Hello,

    I am currently an international student with an F-1 visa. I’m also a holder of an EAD card that I acquired through the pre-completion OPT program. My card will expire in July and I would like to know if it can be renewed. I’m getting different answers every time I call USCIS. Also I’d like to know if I can be a holder of both a H-1B and my F-1 visa.

    • IanScott says:

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    • N reddy says:

      Hello, my h4 visa got expired in June and I’m in india. There are no consulate dates available anytime soon for non immigrant visas. But I do have a b2 visa. Can I travel to the US on b2 as my husband is currently there with a valid H1b visa. Please address this issue with possible pros and cons. It would be greatly helpful. Thank you.

      • IanScott says:

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  • Samy says:

    Sir
    I have valid B1 B2 visa I’m going to apply for F1 visa if I get F1 visa my B1 B2 visa will get invalid ? Ot it will be valid sir ?

    • IanScott says:

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  • Steven Jeffery says:

    Hello,

    I currently have an 02 visa and am a working/touring musician. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am currently out of work until further notice as we are not able to play live shows.

    Is it possible to keep this visa and also get a visa that would allow me to apply to work at cafe/restaurant type job without needing sponsorship from the employer? If not, do you know what it would take to make this happen?

    Thanks so much!

  • Sarah says:

    I have a O-1 visa – am I allowed to hold an H1B visa at the same time? had a period of time when I had two concurrent O-1 visas. I’ve had two concurrent O-1 visas before but am not sure if I am permitted to hold concurrent visas of different types. Thank you!

    • IanScott says:

      You can have multiple visas but only can hold one status at a time while in the U.S.

    • IanScott says:

      Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you. Please find attached a link that you can use to set up a 30 minute ($150) or 1 hour ($250) consultation. The system allows you to select a lawyer and a day and time that is convenient to you. 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. Please reach out if you have any questions.

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  • KELVIN says:

    I have a valid b1 b2 Visa and wasn’t able to travel in the states yet. However my fiance who is a US Citizen would want me to apply for a K Visa (fiance Visa) Is it going to have a conflict about it? Is my Visitor visa will be voided or I can use both b1b2 and k visa at the same time?

    Thank you in advance.

    • IanScott says:

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  • Sara Lima says:

    Hi,
    If you’re applying for a L1 Visa, can you while you’re waiting, enter the US with an ESTA for business meetings or will it affect the process?

    • IanScott says:

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  • Abe says:

    I just got my J1 visa issued and I am yet to travel to US. But, another employer offered me h1-b sponsorship. Is it possible to cancel the j1 as i have not used to travel to US and apply for the h1-b?

    regards

    • IanScott says:

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  • Dipankar adhikari says:

    I have valid c1d visa that will expery on 2023.can i apply for j1 visa??

    • IanScott says:

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  • Mo says:

    Can I go get B1/B2 while on valid H1B since I am planning to move out of US in next few months? Basically I am applying for visitor visa in advance so that I can visit my family friends after I moved out of US?

    • IanScott says:

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  • RK Ambion says:

    Hi! I have both J1 and B1/B2 visas but I entered the country with my J1 visa. Is it possible for me to stay longer when my J1 visa expires considering that I also have a B1/B2 visa?

    • IanScott says:

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  • estub says:

    Hi,
    I already have a K1 visa (approved from the USCIS) but when my employer heard that I will be moving they offered me a transfer instead of me resigning from my job. They offer me to fill 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 says:

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  • EloK says:

    I have dual citizenship Canada and St.Kitts. With the Canada passport, obviously I do not need to ask for B2 visa for tourism to the United States.  Can I apply for B2 visa using DS160 application form for my second passport (St.Kitts) and declare on the form that I also have Canada citizenship?  Or would this be considered a duplicate visa since I implicitly already have B2 with Canada citizenship? It might seem strange to apply for B2 under a second citizenship if I can already enter the U.S. with my Canada passport, but I will need to go to U.S. while my Canada passport is being renewed from abroad with long wait time.

    • IanScott says:

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  • PB says:

    Hi Ian,

    I’m currently on an H1B visa (ends in 2021), but I’m now moving to a Ph.D. program, so I will be getting my visa stamp soon in Canada (I didn’t apply for a change of status-its just new visa). While I get that stamp, can I enter the US with my H1B visa still and work till my classes start and then I move to the F1 visa

    • IanScott says:

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  • JamesH says:

    I have a pending I140 but my L1 visa will expire before my priority day becomes current, and I can apply for EAD and submit I485 and AP.
    To continue working legally could I get E2 spouse EAD to enable me to work until my priority date becomes current?

    • IanScott says:

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    • Gena says:

      Hi,
      I have a year tourist visa, but it’s only for one visit that I’ve already used. Now I have to change a plane in the USA, for which I must have a transit visa. Is it possible to apply for the transit visa for the dates before my one-time visa expiration?
      Best regards,
      Gena

      • IanScott says:

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  • Manjula R says:

    Hi,
    AM planning a trip to South America – Argentina,Chile,Peru and Columbia ( I learned that I can enter these countries with USA B1/B2 visa and not work visa).
    I have B1/B2 and L1-B visa, Can I enter the above countries with B1/B2 ?
    As I understand I can use either of the visa depending on the purpose, so just wanted to confirm before booking tickets.
    Please help
    Thanks in advance.

    • IanScott says:

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  • Cesar Vazquez says:

    Hi,
    I had a B1/B2 visa when I got approved for a TN visa. Now that the B1/B2 visa is about to expire I’m wondering if it should be renewed now or if I should wait until the TN visa expires, what’s best?

    • IanScott says:

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  • Ed says:

    I work in USA under TN visa and my family have TD visas. My wife got a 6-month job with an organization and will be issued a G-4 visa covering all family members. We will go to an USA consulate in Canada to pick up the visas. I will enter the country with my TN visa in order to keep my status. What about my children? Should they enter with the TD or G-4?

  • Ani says:

    I have B1/B2 type visa, so if I get F visa they will not cancel B1/B2 type visa. Is it right?

  • Esmeralda says:

    Hello
    My B1-B2 Visa was cancelled because the Officer sugested that I dont have the funds to stay as a tourist. So, May I apply for a transit Visa since I have planes to travel to Israel by noviembre 2019? Or I can review my casé at the consulate? Because I have documents that show I have enough funds to Cover my personal expenses as tourist.

  • Macy says:

    I am on an H1B now. Can I travel to Canada to get my F1 visa stamp, then return to the US with my H1B BEFORE the school starts? I will still be employed until the school starts.

    • IanScott says:

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  • Macy says:

    I am on H1B now. Can I travel to get my F1 visa stamp in Canada, then return to the US with my H1B BEFORE the school starts? I would still be employed at the time of return to the US.

    • IanScott says:

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  • jenny says:

    This article mentions having 2 valid visas. Is it possible to have 2 ongoing applications at same time in difference categories?

    • IanScott says:

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  • jhade says:

    i have B1 US visa under my employer name, its possible can apply CANADA visa under my same name employer

    • IanScott says:

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  • Kayla Zosa says:

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

  • Yoonhwa Choi says:

    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 says:

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  • ayesha says:

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

    • IanScott says:

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  • Paul Martin says:

    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 says:

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  • Lauren says:

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

  • Steven says:

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

  • hhy says:

    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

  • Mia Nikkhah says:

    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 says:

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    • G.O says:

      If I have a P3 visa, can i enter the USA with my wife and kids having a B1/B2 visa?

      • IanScott says:

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  • Mostafa says:

    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 says:

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  • Faith says:

    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 says:

      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.

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  • Jane says:

    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

  • Tara morrison says:

    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

  • Irene says:

    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

  • Irene says:

    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?

  • Snathoshi says:

    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?

  • lukie says:

    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 says:

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  • Cris says:

    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 says:

      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.

  • judith says:

    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.

  • SK says:

    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?

  • Matt Kadolph says:

    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 says:

      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,

  • Saad Yousef says:

    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?

  • Nina says:

    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…

  • Rahul says:

    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?

  • Mary says:

    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 says:

      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,

  • BambouDG says:

    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 says:

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

  • Apj1 says:

    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”?)

  • Aj says:

    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 says:

      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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