Updated on 09.01.2023

New visa design since 2023

US visas in all categories have been given a new design. The Lincoln look has been replaced by the Golden Gate Bridge. What impact does this have on current visas?

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Neues Design der US-Visa
Back in November last year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that a new visa foil design is to be introduced for all nonimmigrant and immigrant visas from 2023. Instead of the Lincoln design, the famous Golden Gate Bridge will adorn the new visa documents.

Validity of US visas with old design

Millions of foreign visitors who want to travel, work or study in the United States long to have the US visa attached to their passport. The US visa is issued by US consulates and US embassies around the world and now has a completely new look.

As part of the standardized revision and safeguarding of documents, all US consulates and US embassies have received a new visa foil design for issuing US visas since 2023. The regular revision of the visa design makes it more difficult to change and forge documents.

The old layout with the Abraham Lincoln look will be replaced by the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as soon as the respective US authorities have used up their stocks. The first US visas in the new design were already issued at the end of 2022.

What do you need to bear in mind regarding the validity of current visas? Visa holders can rest easy. All visa documents with Lincoln optics that have not yet expired naturally remain valid and do not need to be reapplied for.

Bild von einem Muster B-1 / B-2 Visum für die USA

Abraham Lincoln Design

The previous design of the visa documents showed the 16th US President Abraham Lincoln with the US Capitol in the background and was introduced in 2002 after a four-year development phase. Certain security standards such as security fibers, more detailed printing and biometric data have already been implemented in this design as well.

Bild von einem US-Visum mit Golden Gate Bridge Design

Golden Gate Bridge Design

The US consular missions are gradually issuing a newly designed US visa, which replaces the previous Lincoln visa foil. The Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco landmark, will be depicted on new US visas. As soon as the US authorities worldwide have used up their stock of old Lincoln visa foils, they will start issuing the Bridge visa foil.

How does the US visa get into the passport?

The US visa is issued by the U.S. Department of State and allows foreign nationals to enter the United States for various purposes. Applying for a visa usually includes an interview at the US embassy or consulate. After a successful interview with the US authorities, applicants receive their passport back with a stapled visa. When entering the USA, the passport with the US visa is checked and linked to an electronic I-94 entry form. The I-94 status contains all information on the permitted duration of stay in the USA and can be checked online.

Personal advice on US visas Our experts will be happy to advise you on your request
Bild von einem gescannten Fingerabdruck

Visa Security Features

The design of the visa foils is revised at regular intervals by the US Department of State and new travel documents are developed to prevent immigration fraud in the USA. It often takes several years to redesign the documents, as work is carried out specifically to counter any attempts at counterfeiting.

The US Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, which requires the use of biometric data in US visas. All persons entering the USA must therefore have a visa that is machine-readable and forgery-proof and also contains biometric data such as a photo and fingerprints. When the CBP checks the visa document, it can be compared with the biometric data to verify the identity of the person entering the country.


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Updated on 09.01.2023