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Taking a Closer Look at Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas

The Department of State has jurisdiction over the issuance of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. While most people are familiar with what the visa looks like, many don’t really understand the information it contains.
The Department of State has a nice graphic on its website that is intended to show people how to read and understand that information. It provides prompts to inspecting your visa when issued to ensure that key data is correct. Mistakes on a visa can lead to hassles at ports of entry and even refusals of entry.
The website  explains that having a U.S. visa allows you to travel to a port-of-entry, airport or land border crossing, and request permission from the inspector to allow you to enter the U.S. While having a visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S., it does indicate that a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad has determined you are eligible to seek entry for a specific purpose.
To see some additional visa facts, please review the following graphic:

how-to-read-a-visaMore Visa Facts

  • A visa must be valid at the time a traveler seeks admission to the U.S., but the expiration of the visa has no relation to the length of time a temporary visitor may be authorized to remain — that is controlled by the validity period of your status.
  • A visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S. Rather, it allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter.
  • If you have a valid visa in an old passport, you can still travel to the U.S. with that visa if you (1) have both the old and new passport and they are from the same country and the same type; (2) the visa is not damaged in any way; and (3) you haven’t done anything else to render yourself inadmissible. 

For assistance with immigrant and nonimmigrant visas or any other immigration needs, please contact Berardi Immigration Law today to schedule a consultation!