Under certain circumstances, federal regulations (22 CFR 41.112(d) and 8 CFR 214.1(b)(1)-(4)) permit an individual to reenter the United States after a visit of 30 days or less solely to Canada or Mexico without having to obtain a new visa from a US Consulate or Embassy prior to reentry. For those in J (or F) status, automatic revalidation also applies to the "adjacent islands," except Cuba.
Warning: If you have a petition or application for a change or extension of status pending with or approved by USCIS, it may be risky to travel outside the US prior to the approved start date, as specified on the new I-94 at the bottom of the Approval Notice from USCIS! Doing so may result in severe immigration consequences. Consult the Sr. Immigration Advisor for any questions.
Automatic revalidation applies in two ways:
- If you have a visa in your passport that matches your current status, but has expired, its validity may be considered to be automatically extended on the date of your return to the US.
- If you have changed status while in the US, and you have a visa in your passport that matches your status from your last entry to the US, its validity may be considered to be automatically extended on the date of your return to the US to apply to your current status.
For reentry under the Automatic Visa Revalidation provision, hand-carry:
- Passport–valid for at least 6 months from date of return to the US
- US visa that has expired and/or was for your previous nonimmigrant status issued by a US Consulate or Embassy in your (current or previous) passport
- Valid I-94. If you were issued a paper I-94 card, you should carry it to present to CBP for readmission to the US. If your I-94 record was created electronically, it is recommended that you carry a print out of your I-94 record even though CBP will be able to access it.
- Immigration documents and evidence of employment/appointment at Salk, as described below under Entry/Reentry into the US.
The Automatic Visa Revalidation benefit is not extended to individuals who:
- are from countries designated by the US Department of State as state sponsors of terrorism.
- have ever overstayed (e.g., stayed beyond their period of authorized stay/I-94 expiration date).
- apply for a new visa at a US Consulate or Embassy while in a contiguous territory.