Social Security and Voting Overseas

Ask the Consul

Installment One Hundred Thirty-Five

This Ask the Consul installment addresses frequently asked questions regarding Non-Immigrant Visas.

Q: If I receive a multiple-entry nonimmigrant visa for 10 years, how many times during the calendar year can I travel to the United States? And how long can I stay in the U.S.?

A: A multiple-entry visa does not specify the number of times a person may travel to the United States within the period of the visa’s validity unless annotated otherwise. At the point of entry to the United States an immigration officer will indicate how long the visa holder is permitted to stay in the country during each visit.

If a visa type does not allow long-term stay in the United States, extensive and frequent travel to the United States may raise questions about the visa holder’s intent to maintain permanent residence in Guyana or elsewhere abroad. Extensive trips may negatively affect his/her ability to obtain a new visa to the United States.

Q: What documents do I need for my visa to be approved?

A: The only documents required at your visa interview are your one-page DS-160 confirmation page with barcode and your passport. Applicants are welcome to bring whatever information they believe demonstrates that they have strong economic, family or professional ties in their country of residence. The consular officer may request to view such documents at his or her discretion. Since each applicant’s situation is different, there is no “set” of documents that you can present that will guarantee visa issuance.
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Q: Is it possible to transfer a valid U.S. visa from an expired or canceled foreign passport to a new one? – 2 –

A: A U.S. visa does not lose its validity when the passport in which it is placed expires. However, U.S. law requires that all persons requesting entry to the United States present a valid visa and a valid passport. An alien can present two passports at once: one, which fulfills the visa requirement, and the other, which fulfills the passport requirement. The alien’s nationality, as indicated in the new passport, must be the same as that shown in the passport bearing the visa stamp. Also, the passport containing the visa must be complete and whole.

Removal of a visa from a passport, destroyed biographic page or significant damage to other pages of the passport invalidates the visa.

Visas cannot be transferred from one passport to another. If an applicant wishes to have a visa placed in a new passport, she or he must apply again for a visa. This new application is subject to the same fees and requirements as any new visa.
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“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 AskGeorge@state.gov. We select questions every other week and publish the answers in Stabroek News and on our website at http://georgetown.usembassy. gov/ask-the-consul.html. Information about visas and travel can be viewed at http://georgetown.usembassy.gov, http://travel.state.gov, and at http://www.dhs.gov. Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently and non-U.S. 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 visageorge@state.gov 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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