Returning from Canada, Mexico, and the Adjacent Caribbean Islands

If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the Adjacent Caribbean Islands (except Cuba) listed here, you may be able to return to the U.S. in the same status with an expired visa. This process, automatic revalidation, is not considered a new admission to the United States.

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Need to know

Need to know 

Only students and scholars in F and J status may use automatic revalidation to return from a trip to an adjacent island with an expired visa.

All visa types are eligible for automatic revalidation to return from Canada or Mexico.

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How to Travel with Automatic Revalidation

Steps to Travel Through Automatic Revalidation
Step 1

Learn whether you need a visa to visit your destination by checking information on the website of the consulate or embassy.

Step 2

Return to the U.S. within 30 days after visiting only one of the destinations.

Step 3

Carry the necessary documents.

  • Unexpired passport
  • Unexpired I-94 arrival/departure record. If you have changed your status in the U.S., carry the USCIS approval notice with you)
  • Expired visa in passport
  • Unexpired I-20 with valid travel signature
  • Unexpired passport
  • Unexpired I-94 arrival/departure record, If you have changed your status in the U.S., carry the USCIS approval notice with you)
  • Expired visa in passport
  • Unexpired DS-2019 with valid travel signature
  • Unexpired passport
  • Unexpired I-94 arrival/departure record. If you have changed your status in the U.S., carry the USCIS approval notice with you)
  • Expired visa in passport
  • Unexpired DS-2019
  • Employment letter, if applicable
  • Unexpired passport
  • Unexpired I-94 arrival/departure record (if you have changed your status in the U.S., carry the USCIS approval notice with you)
  • Expired visa in passport (Canadians are exempt from the visa requirement)
  • Form I-797 approval notice (H-1B/ O-1)
  • Employment letter
Step 4

Specifically ask for automatic visa revalidation from the port of entry officer when reentering the U.S.

We advise that you print a copy of the  automatic visa revalidation information just in case the officer is not familiar with the procedure. Also, if you have an I-94 card inside your passport do not surrender it when leaving the United States.