How long is a visa good for?
You may use your visa to travel to the United States until the date it
expires. However, if your visa says that it is valid indefinitely, you
should apply for a new visa, or travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
if eligible as all "indefinitely-valid" visas are now obsolete. See further down this page.
What if the visa does not cover my entire stay in the United States?
The period of validity of a visa relates only to the time in which you
may travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not
determine how long you may remain in the country. This is a matter for
the immigration officer at the port of entry.
Does a visa guarantee that I can enter the United States?
A valid visa permits you to apply for admission to the United States
when you arrive at the airport (or other port of entry) in the United
States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) officer at the
port of entry makes the final decision as to whether you may be
admitted to the United States, and how long you may stay in the United
I have a visa in my old passport. Can I just transfer it over?
It is not possible to transfer a visa
from one passport to another. If you wish for a visa in your new
passport you must apply for a new visa. But an undamaged, valid,
multiple entry visa in an expired or canceled passport can be used
until it expires, in combination with a new valid passport.
My passport containing a valid visa has expired. I've obtained a new passport; do I need a new visa?
If the passport in which your
visa has been endorsed has expired, the visa in the old passport still
can be used, provided that you also carry a valid passport of the same
nationality. Note: If, when canceling your old passport, the passport
authority has clipped the corners of the passport, and, in so doing,
has damaged the visa in any way, that visa is no longer valid and
cannot be used for travel to the United States.
My passport will expire soon; do I need to get a new passport or visa?
No. The United States and The Netherlands have a bilateral agreement
whereby Dutch passports are recognized as valid for return to
The Netherlands for a period of six months beyond the expiration date
specified in the passport (and vice versa for American passports).
However, the passport must still be valid for the length of
the proposed trip. Thus, if planning a two month stay, the
passport presented at the airport must be valid for at least that two
month period, but does not have to be still valid for six months. If
you are traveling visa free and your passport is valid for less than 90
days, you will be admitted only until the date the passport expires.
For other nationalities, please check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country
How long can I stay in the United States?
The period of validity of a visa relates only to the length of time
during which the holder may travel to the United States and apply for
admission at a port of entry. It does not determine the length of stay
which is a matter decided by U.S. immigration authorities at the port
of entry. If, while you are in the United States, you find that you
need to stay there longer than the period of time initially granted to
you, you must contact the nearest office of the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through www.uscis.gov
to apply for an extension of your stay. The USCIS has sole jurisdiction
over such matters. It is not possible to extend your stay if you
entered visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.
If I just have a tourist visa, what sort of activities can I do in the States?
The B-2 visa is only valid for travel to the United States for a
temporary visit for pleasure. For a visit for business purposes you
need a classification B-1 visa. To apply for such a visa, please follow
It may be possible for you to travel to the U.S. without a visa if your
trip is for less than 90 days and you meet all the conditions for Visa
I have a visa, do I also need a return ticket?
If you hold a visa of any classification, including a B-1/B-2 visa, you
are not required to hold a return ticket; you may enter the United
States on a one way ticket. All travelers should carry with them for
presentation to U.S. officials, if required, evidence of funds
sufficient for their visit and, with the exception of H and L visa
holders, evidence that they have a residence abroad to which they
intend to return at the end of their stay.