Canada, Mexico or Adjacent Islands
[The adjacent islands
include: the 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
Visa Revalidation for Reentry to the U.S.
It is possible for nonimmigrants in F-1 or J-1 status, and their
F-2 or J-2 dependents, to reenter the United States with an expired
U.S. nonimmigrant visa stamp after a visit of not more than thirty
(30) days ONLY when traveling to Canada, Mexico,
or the adjacent islands (except Cuba).
It is not recommended that Automatic Visa Revalidation be used to
apply for readmission to the United States from your home country.
For example, a nonimmigrant from Mexico traveling to Mexico for
less than 30 days with an expired F-1 or J-1 visa should apply for
a new visa while they are in their home country. They may encounter
difficulty if they attempt to reenter the U.S. with an expired F-1
or J-1 visa, even if they have retained their original Form I-94
You are eligible for Automatic Visa Revalidation only if (see
"Ineligible Nationalities" below):
- You are in possession of the following documents at the time
you reenter the U.S.:
You have only been to the countries or territories listed
above for a period of no more than 30 days.
- Your most recent Form I-94 marked D/S for "duration
of status." You must retain your Form I-94 when departing
the U.S., as it is the basis for your reentry.
- The expired visa stamp, OR an USCIS approval
notice (Form I-797) if you possess an I-94 card from a change
- A valid I-20 or DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) which has been
endorsed for travel by the International Students and Scholars
- A valid passport
You have maintained your F or J status, and intend to resume
the same status when you return to the U.S.
You have not applied for a new visa while abroad (see next
You Apply for a Visa While Abroad
Automatic Visa Revalidation is not available to
citizens of any country who apply for a U.S. visa while abroad.
If you intend to apply for a U.S. visa while in one of the countries
listed above, you should decide carefully, as you will not be able
to return to the U.S. until your visa is approved. This caution
is particularly important for nationalities that may be subject
to an extensive security check. If your visa is denied, you must
return to your home country and reapply at a U.S. consulate there.
Automatic visa revalidation is not available to nationals of Iran,
Syria, Sudan and Cuba. If you are a citizen of one of
these countries and your F-1 or J-1 visa is no longer valid, you
will need to follow the procedures for renewing
your F-1 visa or renewing
your J-1 visa. Click
here for an updated list of ineligible countries ("state
sponsors of terror").
note: Iraq and Libya were recently removed
from the list. However, we strongly caution citizens of these
countries that they may still encounter difficulties -- even refusal
-- if they attempt to take advantage of Automatic Revalidation.
This is because individual border officials may not be aware that
these countries have been removed from the list and because granting
permission to enter the U.S. under Automatic Revalidation is at
the discretion of the border officials. Please consult with
your ISSO advisor for further guidance.
For complete texts of the regulations regarding visa revalidation,
see the following sections of the Code of Federal Regulations: 22
CFR Section 41.112 (d), and 8 CFR Section 214.1 (b). These can
be viewed on the World Wide Web at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/.