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Travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean

U.S. non-immigrants may travel to Canada, Mexico, or nearby Caribbean islands (excluding Cuba) and re-enter the United States on their expired U.S. visas (called the "automatic revalidation" benefit). Certain requirements must be met, including, but not limited to the following:

  • The travel period must be 30 days or less
  • You must have a valid I-94 record: print this and carry it with you.
  • You must have a valid passport and travel signature.
  • You must have a visa in your passport, but that visa can be expired

For more information, visit the Automatic Revalidation page on the U.S. State Department website.

Non-immigrants may also choose to apply for a new visa while in Canada or Mexico. If you elect to do this, you will not be eligible for the "automatic revalidation" benefit during the course of that trip, You will have to wait until the visa is approved in order to re-enter the United States. Keep in mind that visa processing can take longer if you are applying in a country other than your home country, so you should be prepared to wait outside the US for an extended period of time if your visa issuance is delayed.

You must make an appointment for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Canada or Mexico. You should also visit the website of the specific embassy or consulate in Canada or Mexico to obtain information on starting your application for a U.S. visa at a consular section in that country.Be sure to check whether or not you need a visa in order to travel to Canada or Mexico.

For more information, visit the Nonimmigrants in the United States-Applying for Visas in Canada or Mexico page on the U.S. State Department website. Review the ISSS Applying for a New Visa page for details on required documents for your visa appointment.

Please note that residents of the countries currently designated as state sponsors of terrorism are not eligible for automatic revalidation.

Last Updated: 10/25/18