Getting a U.S visa is a complicated and long process. Depending on the reason you want to go to the U.S, you might apply for a temporary nonimmigrant visa or a permanent immigrant visa. Whichever visa you end up being approved for, you will get a unique visa number.
This article will go through what the visa number on the U.S visa means and other details about it.
What is a Visa Number?
The visa number is a red number that is located in the bottom right of the visa document. When your U.S visa gets approved, the U.S Embassy will stamp the visa on a full page of your passport. The visa will have a lot of information on it, and amongst it will be your visa number.
When you try to enter the U.S, the officials at the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will check your visa. They will write down different information on their system, including your visa number.
Only by entering your visa number, they will know who you are and why you are in the U.S. The visa number will show them what kind of visa you are in the U.S with and when you will leave.
The visa number is a random string of numbers. It does not have any meaning to those who hold it because it is randomly generated. It is not different depending on the type of the visa. Your K-1 visa number will not have a different format than a H-1B visa number or a F-1 visa number. They will all be random and there is not a specific pattern you can find.
Where is the Visa Number on a Visa?
Amongst all the information found on a U.S visa, there will also be your visa number. The visa number is in red on your visa. It could be placed anywhere, but it is distinct because it is the only red number on it.
The place or color does not change whether it is a nonimmigrant visa number or an immigrant visa number. The example below shows what a U.S visa looks like. As you can see, most of the information is in black ink. The number in red ink is the visa number. So if you are being asked to show your visa number, you know that you can find it there.
Besides the visa number, a U.S visa also has the following information:
- Issuing Port Name – which states the U.S Embassy that the person got the visa from;
- Person’s Last name;
- Person’s First Name;
- Sex – indicates the gender of the person as F (female) or M (male);
- Passport Number;
- Visa type – indicates the type of visa the person has. The example above is for a K-1 visa, or a fiancé visa;
- Entries – could be marked in the number of times the person is allowed to enter the U.S or in letters. If you see S (Single Entry) on this section, that means you are only allowed to enter once. The letter M (Multiple Entries) means you can enter the U.S multiple times;
- Issuing Date – when the visa was issued;
- Expiration Date – when the visa expires and the person cannot enter the U.S anymore;
- Annotations – these are the notes that the U.S Embassy writes such as the name of your fiancé, spouse, or employer.
How to Get a U.S Visa Number?
The U.S visa number is only given to individuals once they have a visa. So to get a visa number, you must go through the process of applying for a U.S visa. Depending on which type of visa you want, the application procedures are different. In general, you will have to do the following:
- File an application form to the U.S Embassy;
- Conduct medical checks;
- Attend a visa interview;
- Submit supporting documents.
If the U.S Embassy approves your application, they will stamp your passport with the visa. The visa will also have the visa number. The visa number will be valid for a specific period of time if you have a nonimmigrant visa or it will be permanent if you have a Green Card.