Automatic Revalidation of Visa: Re-entering the United States with a Valid I-94 Form and Expired Visa.

December 5, 2019
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the United States. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port-of-entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:
  • Nonimmigrants who departed the United States for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
  • Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

Not every traveler who is travelling back in 30 days or less and with a unexpired I-94 is eligible for Automatic Revalidation. Travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid admission stamp or paper Form I-94, in order to gain admission to reenter the United States. The temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have a valid admission stamp or paper Form I-94, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the United States, if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):  The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid admission stamp or paper Form I-94):
  • Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
  • Applied for a new visa and was denied;
  • Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
  • Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
  • Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Iran, Syria, and Sudan;
  • Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
  • Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the United States, other than Canada and Mexico.

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