Automatic Visa Revalidation at the Port of entry – For a Travel to Canada & Mexico for less than 30 days

Automatic visa revalidation is one of a handful of exceptions to the general rule that a nonimmigrant can only lawfully enter the United States if he/she has a valid visa. According to automatic visa revalidation, people on some non-immigrant visa statuses who visit Canada, Mexico or some adjacent islands close to the United States for a period of less than 30 days can re-enter the United States based on a valid Form I-94 even if their visa has expired.

In order to qualify for an Automatic Visa Revalidation all of the following must apply:

  • The visit is only to Canada or Mexico and you may not travel to any other country.
  • You did not apply for a new US visa stamp (visa extension pending or denied) while in Canada/Mexico.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of re-entry to the U.S.
  • You must possess your portion of the approval notice (bottom left side of the I-797) – if in H-1B status You must possess an unexpired I-94 record or admission stamp.
  • You must apply for readmission to the U.S. within the authorized period of your immigration status.
  • You must have maintained and intend to resume your non-immigrant status.

Automatic revalidation is not available to nationals from countries identified as state sponsors of terrorism. Individuals who apply for a new visa in Canada and/or Mexico, but are denied such a visa, are also not eligible to benefit from the automatic visa revalidation option.

Automatic revalidation is applicable only in the case of a nonimmigrant alien who:

(i) Is in possession of a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS to show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay, or, in the case of a qualified F or J student or exchange visitor or the accompanying spouse or child of such an alien, is in possession of a current Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, or Form IAP-66, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, issued by the school the student has been authorized to attend by DHS, or by the sponsor of the exchange program in which the alien has been authorized to participate by DHS, and endorsed by the issuing school official or program sponsor to indicate the period of initial admission or extension of stay authorized by DHS.

We recommend that individuals planning to re-enter the US under the automatic visa revalidation process carry with them the CBP automatic visa revalidation memo.


In addition, please print the relevant regulations.