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Automatic Visa Revalidation

Automatic visa revalidation allows foreign nationals to reenter the U.S. after a brief visit to Canada or Mexico even though the U.S. visa has expired, or the current visa does not match the current status in the U.S. For those in J and F status, it also allows them to reenter after travel to islands in the Caribbean (except Cuba). You must meet the eligibility criteria listed below:

  1. Be seeking reentry to the U.S. from a visit of less than 30 days
    1. The automatic visa revalidation benefit is not available if the visit exceeds 30 days, or if the visit includes countries other than those countries listed above.
  2. Have a valid, unexpired I-94 record. Depending on your circumstances, this may be:
    • a printout of the electronic I-94 record from the Customs and Border Protection website
    • the small, white card stapled into your passport if your last entry was at a land border
      • Note: Persons planning to use automatic visa revalidation must not allow the airline (or anyone else) to remove the I-94 from their passport when departing the U.S.
    • if your status changed or extended while you were in the U.S., the card attached to the bottom right corner of your I-797 Approval Notice.
  3. Have a valid passport
  4. Have not applied for a new visa at a U.S. consulate
  5. Not be a citizen of a country designated by the U.S. government as a State Sponsor of Terrorism
  6. Have the correct visa-specific documents and intend to resume the same status back in the U.S.:
    • J-1 Exchange Visitors: a valid DS-2019
    • F-1 Students: I-20 and OPT EAD (if applicable)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has more information on automatic visa revalidation. You may find it helpful to take a printout of this linked web page with you when you travel. For more information please click here