Automatic Visa Revalidation Reminder

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently issued a Fact Sheet as a reminder about the availability of automatic visa revalidation in certain cases. Specifically, Department of State (DOS) regulations permit certain non-immigrants to re-enter the United States after a visit of 30 days or less to Canada or Mexico without having to obtain a new visa prior to re-entry.

Under State Department Regulations, automatic visa revalidation applies to the expired nonimmigrant visas of aliens who have been out of the U.S. for thirty (30) days or less in contiguous territory (Canada and Mexico). In the case of F-1 and J-1 students, automatic revalidation applies to contiguous territory and adjacent islands other than Cuba. An M-1 student can only apply for automatic revalidation readmission after an absence of less than 30 days solely from contiguous territory.

Nonimmigrants who are normally eligible to benefit from reentry under the automatic revalidation rules are not able to use this process if the nonimmigrant's passport shows that, while in contiguous territory or on an adjacent island, the nonimmigrant applied for a new visa and is pending a decision or has been denied a new visa.

In addition, nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba are not eligible for automatic revalidation of an expired visa. For example, if a citizen of Germany travels to contiguous territory for a day and has an expired visa, but a valid extension notice of status, he/she may benefit from the automatic visa revalidation provisions and be readmitted without applying for a new visa, whereas a citizen of Iran, Syria, Sudan or Cuba would need to obtain a new visa in order to return to the U.S.

A copy of the Fact Sheet is available here.

Categories: Immigration Blog