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Prepare for Your Travel to the USA

January 13, 2014

Prepare for Your Travel to the USA

Author: US Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova

How one can prepare for travel to the US? What do one need to come to the US and be admitted without issues at the border?

First of all, one must be in possession of an unexpired passport that would expire only 6 months after the intended departure from the US. If you travel with a visa, a consulate would not stamp your passport if its expire date is sooner than 6 months from the date of the intended departure. If you come on ESTA program, make sure your passport has enough validity period not to cause problems at the border.

Second, if your name in the passport is different than your name on your green card, you should have a copy of better an original of the marriage certificate showing the name change. If the name change happened as a result of court order, you should have a copy of the order with you.

Third, a valid visa is a must of course. A visa sticker and time one may be present in the US are two different things. The dates on the visa itself show only the period of time within which a person may enter the US, but it is up to the CBP officer and the type of visa one holds that would determine how long one may stay in the US. For example, a B1/B2 visa may be valid for 2 years: it means one may enter the US within this 2 years period. But the B1/2 visa allows its holder to stay in the country for no longer than 6 months at a time (provided no extension is requested).

Lastly, if a person who is coming to the US is not a green card holder, he/she will be assigned an I 94 number. Due to resent changes, the I 94 number will not longer be provided on a paper card. It is all done electronically now. One must print it out before leaving the US though, or will have to submit a FOIA request to retrieve that number after departure. Please see this page about I-94 new procedure.

If your green card expired and you need to travel to the US, visit our page for more information:

For more information: call law office of Alena Shautsova at 917-885-2261

Category: USCIS, Visas