Visa left in old passport - what are my options?

Old Dec 30, 18, 9:03 pm
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Unhappy Visa left in old passport - what are my options?

Hello,

I'm taking my parents on a trip to Hawaii tomorrow - everything is booked, but we have one slight problem - we just realized they have left their old passports at home which contains their valid US visa. We have scanned copies of their visas, and they have also traveled many times to the US in the past. We will be leaving from Canada. They have valid Canadian visa as well.

I'm planning to call the US Embassy in Canada tomorrow morning to see what my options are. While waiting, I'm wondering if anyone on this forum have dealt with a similar situation in the past? I figured it's easy enough for them to be able to pull up the information and validate that the Visa is indeed valid and they have traveled many times to the US in the past. At the same time I also know how strict the US government is when it comes to these things. What are our chances to be able to still travel?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Thanks!
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Old Dec 30, 18, 9:31 pm
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Welcome to FT.

Do realize the US Government is currently shutdown due to a budget impasse. That includes the State Department and Embassies. While I have never dealt with such a situation, my guess is that your parents will not be traveling tomorrow because the airline is not going to even let them on the plane without a valid visa. The airline has no way to validate anything other than what is in a passport. My suggestion is that you call the airline and prepare to have the trip postponed. In the mean time I would suggest someone at home try to locate the passports and overnight ship them.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 9:48 pm
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https://ca.usembassy.gov/visas/do-i-need-a-visa/

Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter the United States directly from Canada for the purposes of visiting or studying.

Some Canadians, do r
equire visas. For example, intending immigrants, fiancé/fiancées, or investors must qualify for a visa before entry in the same manner as other nationalities. Other entrants, such as journalists, temporary workers or NAFTA professionals, must present all necessary supporting documentation and/or approved petitions directly to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the Port of Entry. You may wish to consult the CBP website ahead of travel to ensure you are compliant with U.S. entry requirements for Canadians and others.

Furthermore, Canadians who have been deported or removed from the United States, or Canadians with a criminal record, including for driving under the influence, must satisfy other requirements to gain entry to the United States.

Canadian visitors are generally granted a stay in the U.S. for up to six months at the time of entry.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 9:56 pm
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Thanks for all your responses - to provide more information, they are visitors to Canada only. Thanks for the heads up on the government shutdown - this isn't looking good at the moment
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Old Dec 30, 18, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by kairi00 View Post
Thanks for all your responses - to provide more information, they are visitors to Canada only. Thanks for the heads up on the government shutdown - this isn't looking good at the moment
Oh dang didn't know they were not from Canada.

Yeah this is going to be an issue. Call your embassy for ideas/help.

Also even with the US govt shutdown, all airport security/border control will be in full force. Those are essential security personnel and there will be border/customs agents working as usual in all US airports
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Old Dec 31, 18, 4:55 am
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It would help to know the nationality/passport of the OP's parents.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 6:35 am
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OP - Not to ask the obvious, but are you certain that they require a US visa and might not qualify under the VWP for an ESTA?

You have not provided sufficient information for anyone here to provide assistance, including their nationality and travel routing, including all connections.

As a practical question, where are the old passports located and is overnight service available from wherever the passports are located to Canada? Might there be someone who can retrieve the passports and get them to an overnight facility.

"Overnight" might mean Wednesday with the holiday and that might mean changing the flights by a day, but that is better, one hopes, than an outright cancellation.

Also note that visas are typically a consular, not an embassy service. If you are in Ottawa, that will not matter. But, the US has consulates in many other Canadian cities and your parents might be located in or near one of those.

Last edited by Often1; Dec 31, 18 at 6:49 am
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Old Dec 31, 18, 7:14 am
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Hi again,

They hold Indonesian passports. Old passports are located there. We will be flying direct from Vancouver to Hawaii. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the anyone else will be able to access the passports.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 7:58 am
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Unless by some luck the Embassy can/will process a new Visa for the new passports today there is no way they can travel. I hold little hope can happen - especially with the shutdown as only American citizens will be assisted as visa services for non-Americans are not a matter of national security. All round bad timing. Hopefully the airline will be sympathetic to the situation and let you cancel/postpone without too much of a penalty.

Edit to add that Vancouver has pre-clearance so as MSP notes below CBP at the airport could admit them.

Last edited by FlyingUnderTheRadar; Dec 31, 18 at 2:30 pm
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Old Dec 31, 18, 8:22 am
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Forget the Embassy. If you are in Vancouver, why on earth would you not be dealing with the US Consulate in Vancouver? Put aside all of the procedures you will read about contacting the Consulate, hop in a taxi and head over and see what you can get done. That is likely your only hope.

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Old Dec 31, 18, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
I hold little hope can happen - especially with the shutdown as only American citizens will be assisted as visa services for non-Americans are not a matter of national security.
According to the website of the US consulate in Vancouver, where the OP is located, "[s]cheduled passport & visa services will continue in the U.S. & overseas during the lapse in appropriations as the situation permits."

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Old Dec 31, 18, 10:08 am
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Was at the consulate and the guards downstairs wouldn't let us up. They sent us to the airport to talk to a CBP officer. Got to the airport and only able to speak to the officer by phone. Called the CBP airport number and no one picked up. Called consulate back again and said the office is closed except for US citizens. They asked me to call the Border Services directly. Currently on hold.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 10:13 am
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With preclearance, it's really CBP at Vancouver which will determine whether the passengers are admitted to the USA. The good news is that there's no risk of flying and then being denied entry. So if CBP approves, the airline should allow boarding.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
With preclearance, it's really CBP at Vancouver which will determine whether the passengers are admitted to the USA. The good news is that there's no risk of flying and then being denied entry. So if CBP approves, the airline should allow boarding.
Very good point. I forgot that Vancouver, like many airports in Canada have pre-clearance. That does shift the issue to CBP in Vancouver. But given the current atmosphere I would still not have much hope that CBP will be forgiving. I guess the OP and family could all head to airport for their flight, arriving early and plead their case. (Edit if admitted it would seem they are still technically in the USA without the proper VISA which again to me is problematic - which could lead to a chance of being detained under right circumstances)

Last edited by FlyingUnderTheRadar; Jan 2, 19 at 8:06 am
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Old Dec 31, 18, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
Very good point. I forgot that Vancouver, like many airports in Canada have pre-clearance. That does shift the issue to CBP in Vancouver. But given the current atmosphere I would still not have much hope that CBP will be forgiving. I guess the OP and family could all head to airport for their flight, arriving early and plead their case.
I don't think that is was was advised by either the Consulate or here on FT. Rather, OP and family were sent out to CBP at YVR today. Just showing up on the day of travel is likely doomed. One does not get to Pre-Clearance until checked in and no carrier will check a passenger in without the required documents.

I suppose that if that was all that was left, I would try it, but hopefully OP has had some luck as between the Consulate and CBP. The real key is to try to find one person who is willing to help. Not suggesting that conjuring up a replacement visa is possible at all. But, if it is, it is going to take someone who is both competent and willing.
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