Visa FAQs

Millions of foreign nationals who enter the United States for tourism or employment opportunities need to have a visa before they are admitted. Applying for a visa is not always easy, though, and people have many questions about the process, how to replace a visa, and more. Below, our Illinois immigration lawyer outlines some of the most frequently asked questions we hear and the answers to them.

When Should I Apply for a Visa?

The majority of visa applications are processed within two to three business days. In some cases, additional processing is required, and that can take up to twelve weeks. To make sure you have your visa when needed, you should apply as soon as possible, or approximately three months in advance.

What to Use if Passport Address and Home Address are Different?

You must always use your current home address, even if the address on your passport is different. A different address on a passport does not usually present an issue.

I Had a Valid Visa in My Passport, but it was Lost or Stolen. What Do I Do?

You cannot replace a lost or stolen visa in the United States. To replace a visa, you must apply in person at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that issued the visa. You must provide a written detailed account regarding the loss of your passport and visa.

How Long Do I Need a Valid Passport Before Applying for a Visa?

You must carry a valid passport in order to travel to the United States. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months beyond your intended period of stay in the country.

Am I Eligible for the Visa Waiver Program?

In order to be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, you must first be a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program. You must also have a valid machine-readable passport, and you must be traveling temporarily for a period of fewer than 90 days. You must also obtain authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and may have to meet other program requirements.

The Visa in My Passport is Still Valid, but the Passport is Expired. Do I Need a New Visa?

No. With a valid visa, you can enter the United States with your new and expired passport. The visa must not be damaged and be the right type of visa for your intended purpose of travel. Your name and other information should also be consistent on both passports.

Can I Extend My Visa?

No. If your visa is about to expire, you must apply for a new one and cannot simply extend your current visa.

How Can an Immigration Lawyer in Illinois Help Me?

The immigration system in the United States is extremely complex, and the laws are always changing. At Sverdloff Law Group, our Illinois immigration lawyer can help you through the process of applying for a visa and can answer any questions you have along the way. Call us now or contact us online to request a consultation and to learn more.

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