If you are only traveling to Canada or Mexico for a period of less than 30 days, you may be eligible to re-enter the US on the basis of an expired visa in your passport under a process called “automatic visa revalidation.”
In order to take advantage of Automatic 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 while in Canada/Mexico.
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of re-entry to the U.S., unless your country is a member of the so-called “six-month club.”
- 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.
NOTE: When exiting the U.S. for Automatic Revalidation do not surrender your I-94—you will need it for reentry.
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.
We recommend that individuals planning to re-enter the US under the automatic visa revalidation process carry with them the CBP article on automatic visa revalidation. In addition, please print the relevant regulations.
If you will be traveling by air, you should confirm that your airline is familiar with the visa revalidation process and will issue you a boarding pass when returning to the US even though you have an expired US visa in your passport.