Travel to Canada and Mexico
There is a special provision in U.S. immigration regulations that allows H-1Bs to re-enter the United States from Canada and Mexico even if the person's nonimmigrant entry visa has expired. This provision is called “Automatic Revalidation” and applies under the following conditions:
- Your stay in Canada or Mexico is less than 30 days.
- You are not a citizen of Iran, Sudan, Syria or Cuba.
- You do NOT apply for a new entry visa at a U.S. consulate during your stay
- You have all of the travel documents listed in the travel section of this website (excluding the entry visa.)
- At the U.S. Port of Entry, you can present a valid, unexpired Form I-94 and a current Form I–797 Approval Notice along with other travel documents. Normally travelers surrender their I-94 cards to airline officials upon departure from the U.S. For automatic revalidation, you must keep your I–94 card and present it to U.S. immigration inspectors upon re-entry. If you do not have your I–94 card, you are not eligible for automatic revalidation.
- You have maintained and intend to resume nonimmigrant status.
- This benefit also applies to nonimmigrants who have changed nonimmigrant status in the United States, whose visa is still in the category in which they had entered the United States. In that case, the visa is considered "converted" to the proper visa category as well as "extended" to allow re-entry.
Last Update: February 20, 2013