Q&A with LA Korean Consulate General on visa travel

September 10, 2015
(Korea Times file)

(Korea Times file)

If my passport that has my U.S. visa stamped on it expires, do I need a new passport to travel? If I visit the U.S. without a visa, can I still vacation in Mexico and re-enter America?

The Los Angeles Korean Consulate General recently answered commonly asked questions this week in partnership with U.S. Customs and Borders Protection.

The passport on which I received a U.S. visa expired, so I got a new passport. Do I need both passports to enter the U.S.?

If both passports show you as a South Korean citizen, you need to show both passports to the customs agent upon entry to the United States.

The passport on which I received a U.S. visa was lost, so I got a new one. Is it possible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program?

South Korean visitors are eligible for both visitor visas and for the VWP. If you have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization, then you can enter the U.S. without a visa. If you have neither a visa or ESTA, airlines can deny boarding as they’ll be subject to fines and penalties.

If South Koreans can visit the U.S. with no visa, why should they use a visitor visa?

If you have a valid visitor visa, it should be used. If you use the visitor visa, you are allowed to stay in the U.S. 180 days instead of 90 and are eligible to request an extension. You won’t need need to re-apply for an ESTA.

I want to work at a part-time job to cover expenses after arriving to the U.S. on a visitor visa. Is it possible?

Employment is prohibited for those who are here on B-1 or B-2 (visitor visas) or if you entered with no visa. Anyone caught faces an immediate deportation and can be banned from re-entering the country for five years.

If I arrived in the U.S. to stay for 90 days without obtaining a visa, would it be possible to visit Mexico and re-enter the U.S.?

If you receive a 90-day stay period on no visa and wish to take a short vacation to Mexico and come back to the U.S., those days spent in Mexico will count toward the 90-day stay period.

If I obtain a visitor visa and wish to visit the U.S. for six months, but have a passport expiring in four months, can I still stay the six months?

You may only stay four months if your passport expires in four months.

I am currently in the process of being considered for an immigrant visa. Can I still visit the U.S. on a visitor visa?

Yes, if you clarify that the stay will be temporary and only for the allowed stay period.

I have a child studying in the U.S. on an F-1 (student) visa. I want to be with my child for as long as possible. Can I stay in the U.S. until they graduate?

You may visit your child, but you cannot stay for the duration of their study period. The visitor visa B-2 allows up to 180 days, or six months, of stay, and can be extended for another six months. However, if you choose to do that, it may be viewed as using the visa for permanent immigration purposes and you may be denied entrance in the future.   If you stay with your child for more than half of their time studying in the U.S., that may also lead to denial of entrance in the future.