New visa design published in 2023

As early as November of last year, the Border Patrol (CBP) reported that a new visa slide design would be introduced for all nonimmigrant and immigrant visas starting in 2023. Instead of the current Lincoln design, a bridge will adorn the new visas in the future. What do you need to keep in mind about the validity of current visas in the future?

Millions of foreign visitors who wish to travel, work or study in the United States long to finally obtain the US visa in their passports. The US visa is issued by US consulates and US embassies around the world, and soon it will appear in a completely new look.

As part of the standardized document revision and security process, all US consulates and embassies will receive a new visa slide design for issuing US visas starting in 2023. The regular revision of the visa design makes it more difficult to alter or forge documents.

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

The US visa

The US visa is issued by the US Department of State and allows foreign nationals to enter the United States for various purposes. Applying for the visa usually includes an interview appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate. After a successful interview with the US authorities, the applicant receives his or her passport back with a visa stapled to it. Upon entry into the US, the passport with visa is verified and linked to an electronic I-94 entry form. The I-94 status, which can be checked online, contains all information regarding the length of stay allowed in the US and should be verified by the applicant.

Visa Security Features

Periodically, the US Department of State revises the design of the visa slides and develops new travel documents to prevent immigration fraud in the US. Often, the redesign of the documents takes several years as targeted work is done to counteract identified counterfeiting attempts.

Under the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 passed by the US Congress, the use of biometric data in US visas is mandatory. This means that all people entering the US must have a visa that is machine-readable and forgery-proof, and also contains biometric data such as a photo and fingerprints. When the border agency CBP checks the visa document, it can be compared with the biometric data, thus verifying the identity of the person entering the country.

Abraham Lincoln Design

The current design of the visa documents shows President Abraham Lincoln with the US Capitol in the background and was introduced in 2002 after a 4-year development phase. Certain security standards such as security fibers, more detailed printing or biometric data have already been implemented in this design as well.

Visa Foil Design until 2022

Into the future with the Golden Gate Bridge

Consular posts have now begun issuing a redesigned visa to replace the Lincoln visa foil. The new visa will now feature the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco landmark. Once US agencies around the world have used up their stock of old Lincoln visa sheets, they will begin issuing the Bridge visa sheet. All visa documents with Lincoln optics will, of course, remain valid.

Visa Foil Design 2023

Updated on 9.1.2023

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  • I just received my US Visa and it looks great with the new design