Ask the Consul Installment One Hundred and Nine

Ask the Consul

Frequently Asked Questions

This Ask the Consul article addresses questions that have been asked during recent interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown or by e-mail.

My visa to travel to the United States is still valid but it is in my expired passport.  Do I need to apply for a new visa with my new passport?

No. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports, as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel. (Example: tourist visa, when your principal purpose of travel is tourism). Also, the expired passport must not be damaged.  Both passports should be from the same country and should be the same type (Example: both Guyanese regular passports, both official passports, etc.). When you arrive at the United States port of entry (POE) the Customs and Border Protection Immigration Officer will check your visa in the old passport and if s/he admits you into the United States, will stamp your new passport with an admission stamp along with the letters “VIOPP” (visa in other passport). Do not try to remove the visa from your old passport and stick it into the new, valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.

How long does “Administrative Processing” take?

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. If an applicant’s case requires further administrative processing, the applicant will be told so at the time of the interview. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60-90 days of the visa interview; however, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.

I had a letter of invitation from a family member to go to the United States, and I still did not get a tourist visa.  Why not?

A letter of invitation from someone in the United States does not guarantee visa issuance to a foreign friend, relative, or student. Visa applicants must qualify for the visa according to their own circumstances, not on the basis of an American sponsor’s assurance.

“Ask the Consul” is a fortnightly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. If you have a general question about visa policy please email it to us at  We select questions every other week and publish the answers in Stabroek News and on our website at .  Information about visas and travel can be viewed at,, and at  Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice.  U.S. Consular rules change frequently and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information.

Other than the questions we select, we DO NOT respond to questions sent to Ask the Consul. Please contact the visa inquiries unit (email or call 225-7965 between 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday) if you have questions about a specific case.

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Immigrant Visa applicants must register online in order to pick up their Visa and packets at DHL

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce an initiative that will allow applicants more flexibility in picking up their visas and immigration packets. 

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Important Tax Filing Information for U.S. Taxpayers Abroad

Who Must File Income Taxes?If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living or traveling outside the United States, you generally are required to file income tax returns, estate tax returns, and gift tax returns, and pay estimated tax in the same way as those residing in the United States.

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Latin America’s time bomb: the ‘ninis’

There was a lot of despair in Latin America about a new International Monetary Fund forecast showing that the region’s economy will shrink by 0.3 per cent in 2016, but that’s something that could be reversed relatively soon.

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Ask the Consul…Interview Waiver and Personal Appearance Waivers for children under 14 years old

The United States Embassy is pleased to announce two initiatives to make renewing and applying for a visa easier and more efficient for children under 14.

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Ask the Consul…What to bring and how to prepare for a Non-Immigrant Visa Interview

On the day of your interview, please arrive at the Embassy at the time indicated on your printed appointment confirmation page.

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Ask the Consul Installment 155

This Ask the Consul article addresses photo requirements for non-immigrant visa (NIV) applications. In short, every NIV applicant must provide a front-facing, full-face photograph along with their visa application.


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