Automatic Visa Revalidation
The rule found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 22 CFR 41.112(d) allows non-immigrants to re-enter the U.S. without a valid (unexpired) U.S. nonimmigrant visa stamp. To be eligible for this provision, the following conditions must apply:
- Period abroad did not exceed 30 days
- Visit included ONLY Canada or Mexico (contiguous territory); a special provision for F and J non-immigrants extends this to adjacent islands (Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Hispaniola (Haiti and The Dominican Republic), Jamaica, Martinique, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Trinidad and Tobago, The Leeward Islands (Anguilla, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Nevis, St. Kitts and the British Virgin Islands), The Windward Islands (Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent), and other British, French or Dutch territories, or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea. Cuba is not included.
- Non- immigrant is otherwise admissible to the U.S.
- Non- immigrant did not apply for a new U.S. visa while abroad
- Non- immigrant has maintained valid non-immigrant status prior to departure from the U.S. and will return to the U.S. to resume that same status.
- Non- immigrant is in possession of appropriate documents to demonstrate status: valid passport; most recently issued original I-94 card (the I-94 should be retained, not surrendered upon departure from the U.S. if automatic visa revalidation is to be used); valid form DS-2019 signed for re-entry for J-1s and valid form I-20 for F-1s.
- Non-immigrant is not a national of Cuba, Iran, Syria, or Sudan.
If you meet the above conditions you may re-enter the U.S with an expired F or J (as applicable) visa using automatic visa revalidation. Also, if you changed status from another visa category to F or J, and never obtained an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp, you may re-enter the U.S. without any visa stamp using automatic visa revalidation if the above conditions are met.
Upon your return to the U.S., please provide IS with a copy of your new Visa and I-94 card.