In some cases, visas are issued for up to 10 years. For example, B-1 and B-2 visas can be issued for 10 years and E-1 and E-2 visas can be issued for 5 years. With these long visa durations, it is inevitable that in some cases people will lose their passports, or their passports will expire before the visa expires.
What happens if I Lose My Passport with my Visa? What happens if My Passport with my Visa is Stolen?
If you lose your passport or it is stolen, there are several steps you should consider. They are outlined below:
- Retrace your steps and make sure that the passport is lost
- File a police report
- Review the Consular website for any specific process they may have for lost or stolen passports
- Apply for a new visa (Submit a new DS-160 Form)
- Attend an interview (this could be waived depending on the circumstances)
When you apply for the new visa, the Consulate may require that you submit all the original information that you used for the initial visa and this will likely occur if more than 6 months has past since the issuance of the visa. For example, in one case we had a client who lost their passport after being issued an E-2 visa 2 years prior. The applicant had to reapply for the E-2 visa submitting all the relevant documentation to show he was still eligible for the E-2 visa. The visa is NOT simply replaced when lost but rather is usually involves a reapplication process.
What happens if my Passport expires before my Visa expires?
If your passport expires before your visa expires, the visa is still valid even though the passport is not. In this case, you should carry both passports (your old passport with the visa) and your new passport when you enter the U.S.
For example, John is issued an E-2 visa with an expiration date of October 2024. His passport expires on January 2021 and can get a new passport the same month. In this case, once the old passport expires, John should always travel with both passports as the visa in the old passport will still be valid. It is not necessary to apply for a new visa when the passport expires.
You can find out more about an E-2 visa by clicking here.
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