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Damaged passport Help!

Travel Forums Asia Damaged passport Help!

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1. Posted by bankshot (Budding Member, 5 posts) 5 Jun '07 12:43

Dear all,

I am in a kind of very confusing situation here. I have a valid passport with a valid B1/B2 visa on it but the passport is damaged (middle pages torn) but the visa page and pages related to the previous US travel are fine as new and so are the photo/biodata pages. Regrading this I have the following questions;

Can I travel to US using this passport or do I need to apply for a new passport considering that the visa and photo pages are not damaged at all?

In case I need a new passport getting this one cancelled will I need a new visa on the new passport or I can just staple the two passports together using one passport and visa from the other one?

In case I dont need a new visa, can it cause me any potential problems at the port of entry?

Is this the same case as for an expired passport but with a valid visa?

I hope you can help.

Sarah Ch.

2. Posted by sushi_ (Budding Member, 49 posts) 5 Jun '07 13:04

I would have thought you need a new passport if you're travelling to the US I know they are very very strict at passport control and you could end up being refused entry, or at the very least facing a lengthy and stressful interrogation upon arrival. Obviously most countries are all linked up to the electronic database but many aren't and the customs officer could think that you're trying to hide your travel history by ripping out pages that have been stamped, not a good situation to be in after a long flight!

I'm not sure that your current visa would be valid with a new passport as I think it will have a new number and they won't tally. I would contact your embassy passport office well in advance of travel to be 100% sure. it might cost you a bit of money to get a new visa/passport but its better than being sent home at your own expense, and waiting in a cell until you can leave!!!

3. Posted by bankshot (Budding Member, 5 posts) 5 Jun '07 13:21

thanks for the reply though its a very terrifying one. do you know anyone who had been in a similar situation? Also what do you mean when you say they are elctronically connected? If the local embassy says that its okay to travel on the new passport while using visa from the old one, is there still a risk of strict interrogation/denied entry? How interested is the US immigration in travellers' travel record to countires other than USA? People are losing passports all the time and also do the passports expire. Where does there travel history go?

4. Posted by sushi_ (Budding Member, 49 posts) 5 Jun '07 14:12

Sorry I didn't mean to worry you too much but post 9/11 America has taken border control very seriously. I know of families with children travelling to Florida to do the Disneyland/sea world type holiday, and they have been given a thorough grilling by customs upon arrival. I would definitely check with your passport office before you go, they'll be able to tell if you need a new visa or not, maybe they can give you a covering letter. Its much better to check with the passport office before you go so you can relax about it, otherwise you'll be worrying yourself silly about it.

Basically the electronic system works by the customs officer scanning your passport (a bit like a credit card) and the computer checks it against a database, to make sure you're not a person of interest, wanted by interpol or that you haven't overstayed your visa and the computer records your visit.

Eventually paper visas will be a thing of the past it will just recorded against your passport, Australian working visa's completely electronic you don't get any form of stamp. Its better because you can do it very quickly, online, without having to send off your passport with the worry of losing it, or having to queue at an embassy.

5. Posted by Hien (Moderator, 3906 posts) 5 Jun '07 19:17

Quoting bankshot

If the local embassy says that its okay to travel on the new passport while using visa from the old one, is there still a risk of strict interrogation/denied entry?

Yes, you could still be interrogated and denied entry even if the visa is valid and was issued by the US Embassy.

A friend of mine is an engineer of Intel in Malaysia. A few years ago, Intel decided to send him to the US for some training program. The company got the visa and everything for him to go there for a few months. When he arrived at the US airport, they pulled him aside into a room, interrogated, and held him for hours and he almost got deported back to Malaysia because they couldn't contact the person (an Intel engineer in the US) who was supposed to meet him at the airport. Apparently, that guy overslept and turned up very late after that!

Before you think of something about my friend looking like a terrorist or that he was a muslim, let me tell you that he's not like that at all. He's an ethnic Chinese in Malaysia, and certainly not a muslim. From the accounts of many Malaysians going to the US, the border control/immigration officers have a generalisation that all Malaysians are muslims, even though only about 60% of us are. So with that profiling, all of us are a a risk, and that was how my friend got into trouble.

6. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member, 198 posts) 5 Jun '07 19:37

Hien I am sure you are right to a great degree- Although no will ever officially admit it I am positive there is a lot of "profiling" that the screeners/ customs officers do- If you come from certain countries considered at higher risk, and as we have talked before thanks to your government as well as the make up of your country, Malaysia fits in that category, they likely will give you a harder time.

I have found the amont of questioning varies dramatically when I cross the US border - it also may depend on the mood of the officer you get, how busy it is.. etc... Personally I find female custom officers let me through quicker... but that is probably a generalization.

Bottom line there seems to be a lot of variability- I agree with the recommendations to check with your embassy or passsport office if you can to be safe....

7. Posted by bankshot (Budding Member, 5 posts) 6 Jun '07 00:45

Dear all,

thanks for all the suggestions. I really appreciate. Though all of this had been quite a news for me and no wonder I am thinking if going to US is even worth it. I am a muslim and I am from Pakistan.

Sarah Ch.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 6, 2007, at 12:49 AM by bankshot ]

8. Posted by selani (Budding Member, 46 posts) 6 Jun '07 08:09

Hi.

Have you notified the concerned authorities?

I suggest that you should immediately submit your passport to the passport office from where it was issued and get a new one. How on earth did you allow your passport to be damaged? you have to answer that question to the issuing officer. If satisfied, they will issue you a new one. They normally attach the old one with the new in case there are valid visas on the old one.

If there were any valid visas on torn pages than it complicates the matter more. FIA people are very touchy about this.

My advice would be to move quick on getting a new one.

Zia

9. Posted by bankshot (Budding Member, 5 posts) 6 Jun '07 12:48

Dear Zia,

Thanks for the suggestions. But how is FIA concerned with issuing a new passport? Its one paper half torn so that means two pages damaged and half still attached to the pasport so clearly even if someone suspects, there is no reason to think there was any visa on that page as a visa normally covers a whole page. Sure I will have to notify the passport office once I am done with all this freaking out part.

thanks again.

Sarah Ch.

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru, 1300 posts) 6 Jun '07 14:45

Quoting bankshot

Dear all,

I am in a kind of very confusing situation here. I have a valid passport with a valid B1/B2 visa on it but the passport is damaged (middle pages torn) but the visa page and pages related to the previous US travel are fine as new and so are the photo/biodata pages. Regrading this I have the following questions;

Can I travel to US using this passport or do I need to apply for a new passport considering that the visa and photo pages are not damaged at all?

In case I need a new passport getting this one cancelled will I need a new visa on the new passport or I can just staple the two passports together using one passport and visa from the other one?

In case I dont need a new visa, can it cause me any potential problems at the port of entry?

Is this the same case as for an expired passport but with a valid visa?

I hope you can help.

Sarah Ch.

Do you still have the torn middle pages? If those particular pages are missing, and your story is kind of fishy, U.S. authorities may think you are up to no good! In particular if the missing pages are pages with visa stamps from Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen or some other country that harbors lots of terrorist training camps! I am sure you understand what I am saying - right?

You can approach the U.S. Embassy and check with them as to what opinion they may have concerning your missing pages. Yes, there is some sharing between countries when it comes to passport information.