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New passport may mean new visa

dear consul:

I just received my new machine-readable passport. My new passport includes my middle name, but my old passport does not. I also have a US visa that expires in 2019 in my old passport without my middle name. Do I have to apply for a new visa that includes my middle name?

Thank you,

Ramdial

Dear ramdial:

Thank you for your question. This issue comes up often, as many people are now replacing their old passports with the new machine-readable passports. Individuals might do this because their old passport has expired, or because of a name change such as in the case of marriage.

Regarding your question, you may only use a valid visa in your old passport if the biographical information on your visa (full name, date of birth, place of birth, and nationality) is exactly the same as the biographical data in your new passport. If the information is still the same, just staple or clip both passports together, and when you arrive in the US, you can present both passports to the immigration officer.

On the other hand, if for any reason the biographical data on your visa is different from the biographical data in your new passport, you must apply for a new visa. This is true even if your old visa has not yet expired. Please also note that you may not have two valid visas of the same type (such as a tourist visa) at the same time. Therefore, if you apply for a new visa while your old visa is still valid, the old visa will be cancelled without prejudice during the interview process regardless of the outcome of the new visa application.

The good news is that our current appointment wait time is minimal, so if you are in a hurry, you should be able to schedule an appointment to apply for your new visa within just few days.

For more information on the nonimmigrant visa process, please visit our website at http://trinidad.usembassy.gov.

I hope this information is helpful.

The Consul

US Embassy, Port of Spain

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