Automatic Visa Revalidation For Certain Nonimmigrant Aliens

Automatic Visa Revalidation For Certain Nonimmigrant Aliens

Under the automatic visa revalidation provision of the immigration law, the validity of an expired nonimmigrant visa may be automatically extended to the date of application for readmission at ports of entry, provided that the nonimmigrant alien meets certain requirements. This provision also applies to cases where USCIS has changed the alien’s nonimmigrant classification to another nonimmigrant classification. In such a case, the validity of an expired or unexpired nonimmigrant visa may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of readmission and the visa may be converted as necessary to the new classification.

In order to take advantage of the automatic revalidation provision, a nonimmigrant alien (and dependent spouse and/or children) must meet the following requirements:

F and J nonimmigrants:

  • Apply for readmission after an absence not exceeding 30 days solely in Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands (except Cuba)*;
  • In possession of Form I-94 endorsed to show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay or in possession of an endorsed I-20A-B (F nonimmigrants) or DS-2029 (J nonimmigrants);
  • In possession of a valid passport, unless exempt;
  • Does not require authorization for admission under the INA 212(d)(3) Nonimmigrant Waiver;
  • Has not applied for a new visa while abroad; and
  • Has maintained and intends to resume nonimmigrant status.

All other nonimmigrants:

  • Apply for readmission after an absence not exceeding 30 days solely in Canada or Mexico;
  • In possession of Form I-94 endorsed to show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay;
  • M-1student must also present a properly endorsed I-20MN;
  • In possession of a valid passport, unless exempt;
  • Does not require authorization for admission under the INA 212(d)(3) Nonimmigrant Waiver;
  • Has not applied for a new visa while abroad; and
  • Has maintained and intends to resume nonimmigrant status.

The automatic visa revalidation provision does not apply to citizens of State Sponsor of Terrorism designated countries, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan.

*Adjacent islands (except Cuba) include Saint Pierre; Miquelon; the Dominican Republic; Haiti; Bermuda; the Bahamas; Barbados; Jamaica; the Windward and Leeward Islands; Trinidad; Martinique; and Other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea