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Don’t wait for visa to expire

 Question:

I want to go to the US in early March for one week, but my passport will be expiring in May. Will this be an issue since my passport wouldn’t be valid for six months?


Answer: 

Thank you for your question. In many countries, passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the end of your journey. This passport-validity rule varies from country to country, but as far as Trinidad and Tobago is concerned, the passport issued by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago must be valid only for the duration of your stay in the US, not for six months. 

While you may travel to the US on a passport which expires in less than six months, US immigration authorities may not grant admission into the US for a period extending beyond the actual expiration date shown in the passport. It should also be noted that a foreign traveller’s stay in the US cannot be extended beyond the expiration date of their passport until an extension of the validity of the passport has been obtained. 

Ultimately, it is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration inspector at the port of entry who authorises or denies admission into the US. For those who travel on passports from other countries, please see our website for further information: http://trinidad.usembassy.gov/passport_validity.html

It is highly recommended you renew your passport and travel with both the old passport containing your valid US visa and the new passport. It is not uncommon for foreign travellers to be in possession of passports which expire before their US visas do. It is okay if your US visa expires while you are in the US. Your visa is valid for entry into the US up until the day of visa expiry. So, as long as you actually arrive in the US before the day your visa expires, there will not be a problem.

Please remember that January to May are the best times to apply for a visa as our wait times are expected to increase significantly during the summer months. You do not have to wait for your visa to expire to apply for a new visa. We hope this information is helpful.

Sincerely,

Vice Counsel

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