Did you lose your passport? Your passport pages got exhausted with valid visa on it? Passport was stolen with bona fide visa stamp? All these questions lead to two things:
- Get a new passport. There are lot of blogs explaining you the process to get one, so we will not talk about it again.
- Transfer visa or get a new visa. And this raises another question ‘Whether it is possible to transfer the visa?’. Not many people are aware or there is not much literature which says that one can transfer visa from old passport to new passport, and there are various methods to do it.
Here are 5 scenarios to transfer your visa from your old passport to new one. Please note, every country has a different procedure to do so, in this blog we have tried to generalize it as much as possible.
1. Transferring an E-Visa or Label-Less Visa
These type of visas are issued electronically and recorded against the passport number at the time of your application. On getting a new passport, you must inform authorities (embassies/consulates/application centers), they will update their records, and you will be able to use the same visa for your next travel. In some of the cases, you are not required to pay an application fee or complete an application form, a simple request letter stating your identity, contact details, identity proof documents and visa transfer request is adequate.
2. Transferring Label-Less Visa to a Label Visa
The process more or less remains same, however, in this case, one has to fill up an application form and pay required fees for processing it.
3. Transferring a Visa into a New Passport
This is comparatively tedious process and you need to follow some steps to transfer a visa to your new passport. You will have to submit a set of documents mentioned below (some countries asks for more documents) to complete transfer process.
- Old passport (if available)
- If old passport was lost/stolen, a copy of a police report is required, showing that the loss was reported
- If old passport was not returned to you with the new one then you need to provide a cover letter with your application advising of this
- New passport
- If your name is different in your old passport then you need to provide evidence of name change (eg. certified copy of a marriage certificate or deed poll)
- A completed application for transfer of visa
- If you are transferring a label-less visa, you can submit a request letter instead of the application form, either is fine. You need to ensure that your letter includes your identity details, contact details and what it is that you are requesting
- If more than one family member is requesting a visa transfer at the same time (eg. applicant and/or partner, and/or children), a separate completed application form (and a separate fee) is required for each person requesting a transfer
In this case, you will have to pay a processing fee to embassy/consulate/application center to transfer your visa.
4. If you are a citizen of one country but also hold a foreign passport
In most of the countries, visas can not be transferred to a new foreign passport. In order to use your foreign passport to travel, you need to request for Citizen Endorsement (different name for different countries) and not a transfer of visa.
5. Visa is damaged
If your visa has been damaged in any way, you will have to reapply for a new visa following the same process that you followed the first time. It will be considered as a fresh visa and in most of the cases previous visa will be cancelled on your passport.
It is always advisable to carry your old passport while travelling even though your visa is transferred to a new passport. If your visa/passport gets stolen, do inform authorities immediately and get them replaced. Some countries allow transfers and some don’t, so at times you need to apply for a brand new visa.
In short, whatever is the case, your visa will never be a blocker in your travel plan, so plan your next trip today itself, let’s explore!