Monday, June 22, 2009

CBP issues Fact Sheet on Automatic Visa Revalidation

The US Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) recently published a fact sheet about automatic visa revalidation. This revalidation allows a nonimmigrant to travel to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days, and return using an expired visa if the foreign national also has an unexpired I-94. The provision applies to people who are returning in a different status to that on their visa, as well as to people who have had their initial status extended. For example, a person can return from a short trip to Canada with an expired L-1 visa stamp and an L-1 extension approval notice with an unexpired I-94. Another example would be a person returning from a short trip to Mexico, and using an expired F-1 visa stamp and a change of status H-1B approval notice to enter.

The revalidation provision does NOT apply if the foreign national:

  • has applied for a visa while on that trip to Canada or Mexico;
  • is from Iran, Syria, Sudan or Cuba; or
  • entered under the Visa Waiver Program.
CBP recommends that people who intend to use Automatic Visa Revalidation bring a copy of the fact sheet with them when they travel.


  1. Thank you Elaine. I am currently in the US on H1B. My visa expired but I have a valid I-797. I am planning to go to calgary, canada for H1 stamping based on the H1 extension. My wife entered the US on H4 and later got a job as researcher on H1 at a leading university. My wife does not want to get her H1 stamped in calgary as I heard that first time H4 to H1 transfer cases are told to go to their home country for visa stamp as he does not have a US degree. Please let me know if she can come with me to the canada and enter the US on AVR without her taking a visa stamp.


  2. Sunil, I can't answer very specific situations via this blog. I suggest asking an immigration lawyer for a formal consultation.