VISAtisfied Voyager’s immigration wizard protects you from the evils of wrong information.
I am so happy that I will finally be re-united with my family in the United States because I just received my passport together with my immigrant visa packet last week. I just have a few questions: Is it okay to remove the plastic so I can retrieve my passport? I also noticed that my visa expiration is in two (2) months. Why didn’t I get the full six (6) months validity? My cousin’s husband got his visa yesterday and his will expire in five (5) months.
I hope you can answer my questions, Vizard. Thank you.
Magdalena dela Cruz
A few moments later, Magdalena received this response from Vizard:
Dear Ms. Dela Cruz,
Congratulations on receiving your immigrant visa. You may open the plastic wrapper, but NOT the sealed brown envelope. This envelope contains all the documents you and your petitioner submitted in connection with the visa application process. Please also do not remove the paper stapled to the envelope (the “Data Summary Page”). You will need to hand the envelope over to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the U.S. port of entry.
After you remove your visa from the outer plastic, you should check it for errors and note the expiration date. Different applicants may have different visa validities. Most immigrant visa validity dates are tied to the validity of the medical exam results, but there may be other reasons why the visa validity date is shorter than you expect. Therefore, you must not assume that your visa is automatically valid for six (6) months, or one (1) year, or whatever your family member or friend received.
Please also note that it is your responsibility to know when your visa will expire and to make sure that you can enter the U.S. prior to that date. The latest you can travel is before midnight of the day BEFORE the visa expiration. For example, if your visa will expire on 31-DEC-2011, you will need to travel to the U.S. and arrive BEFORE 31-DEC-2011. In this case, you must begin your travel NO LATER THAN 30-DEC-2011.
Just to be safe, however, I recommend that you travel well in advance of your visa expiration date, but DO NOT purchase your tickets until you have your visa in hand.