Expiration Dates Demystified

What is the last day I can travel on my U.S. Visa?

You can travel to the United States up to your visa’s final day of validity. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. Rather, it allows a foreign citizen to present themselves at a U.S. port of entry. Upon arrival, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials permit or deny admission and determine how long a visa-holder can stay which is typically up to six months on a B1/B2 visa.

What happens if I stay longer?

It is important that you depart the United States on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the United States. This date is specified on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Failure to depart in a timely fashion, being “out-of-status,” is a violation of U.S. immigration laws and will cause your visa to be voided. It might also make you ineligible for a visa in the future, should you choose to reapply.

Can I extend my stay legally?

Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to obtain approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Requests for extension or adjustment of status must be received before the expiration date provided on your I-94. See Extend Your Stay and Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website for more information. If approved, visa holders should also be prepared to explain thoroughly the reasons behind their extension when they apply to renew their visa.

My visa is valid but in an expired passport. Do I need a new visa?

No. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your current, valid passport and the old passport. The visa in it must be valid, not damaged and appropriate for your purpose of travel. Both passports should be from the same country and of the same type – for example official, diplomatic or regular.

My current passport will expire soon. Can I still travel on it?

Visitors traveling to the United States are required to possess passports valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay. Many countries in the Eastern Caribbean are exempt from this requirement. A complete list of exempt countries can be found on CBP’s list of “Six-Month Club” members.

If you have additional questions, please visit our website, http://barbados.usembassy.gov/mail_in.html, or email us at BridgetownNIV@state.gov.

You can also “like” our U.S. Embassy Bridgetown page on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/USEmbassyBarbados) to learn about upcoming visa chats!

More information is available as “Frequently Asked Questions” on the U.S. State Department’s web page: http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_4401.html Additional information on the visa application process is available on U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s website at http://barbados.usembassy.gov/

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