Home > Department of State > Understanding Automatic Visa Revalidation When Traveling to Canada or Mexico

Understanding Automatic Visa Revalidation When Traveling to Canada or Mexico

January 21, 2013

Automatic visa revalidation applies to expired nonimmigrant visas of foreign nationals who have been outside of the United States for 30 days or less to visit a contiguous territory (Canada or Mexico). The validity of an expired nonimmigrant visa is automatically extended to the date on which the alien applies for readmission. Automatic visa revalidation also applies to situations in which USCIS has granted a change from the initial nonimmigrant classification to another nonimmigrant classification before the alien’s temporary departure (for example, F-1 to H-1B). An alien may rely on automatic visa revalidation when the alien holds an expired visa with which the alien was previously admitted and is in possession of a valid Form I-94 card showing an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay and –

  • is applying for readmission after an absence not exceeding 30 days solely in contiguous territory (or if an F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2 nonimmigrant, a contiguous territory or an adjacent island other than Cuba);
  • has maintained and intends to resume nonimmigrant status;
  • is applying for readmission within the authorized period of initial admission or extension of stay;
  • is in possession of a valid passport;
  • does not require authorization for admission under INA § 212(d)(3);
  • has not applied for a visa while outside of the United States; and
  • if an F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 alien, have a valid Form I-20 or valid Form DS-2019.
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