Travel to Canada, Mexico, or Adjacent Islands

For citizens of some countries, you may need a visa to travel to Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands. Please check the sites below for the information. If your stay exceeds 30 days, you must have a valid US visa to return to the U.S.

Automatic Revalidation of Visa

The U.S. Department of State provision for "automatic revalidation of visa" allows certain non-immigrants to re-enter the U.S. after a visit of less than 30 days to "contiguous territory" (Canada, Mexico, and, in the case of F and J non-immigrants, the "adjacent islands other than Cuba") without having to obtain a new visa prior to re-entry.

Persons in F and J who are maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status in the United States, and who travel to Canada, Mexico or the contiguous islands, for 30 days or less, can re-enter with the Form I-94, a valid passport, and a current copy of the form I-20 or DS-2019, plus a previously-issued visa (which could be expired, or even in a different category than the I-94 if a change of status has been approved in the U.S.). Persons in H-1 or O-1 status are also eligible to use the automatic revalidation for trips of less than 30 days to Canada or Mexico, as long as they have a valid I-94, passport and an USCIS issued I-797 Approval Notice.

Automatic revalidation of visa does NOT apply if:

  • You apply for a new U.S. visa in Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands. This means if you apply for a new visa you must wait until that visa is issued to return to the U.S.
  • You travel to any other country before returning to the U.S. from Canada or Mexico
  • You are a citizen of Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba

As this is a rather complicated provision, it is best to talk with a VISA office  Immigration Partner before you travel to see if you can use this benefit.