Scholar - Automatic Visa Revalidation
Can I re-enter the U.S. with a valid I-94 and expired visa?
Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including, but not limited to the following:
Non-immigrants who departed the United States for Brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent islands, except Cuba (for F and J non-immigrants) for 30 days or less;
Non-immigrants with a valid (unexpired) admission stamp or paper from I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.
A person is eligible for automatic visa revalidation provided the following conditions are met:
The underlying authorization for the current status continues to be valid (such as the Form I-129 for non-immigrant workers or Form I-20 for students in F status).
The person's absence from the United States was 30 days or less.
The person did not visit any countries other than Mexico or Canada in that period. People on F visa or J visa statuses are also allowed to have visited adjacent islands to the United States (i.e., the Caribbean Islands).
The person does not have a pending (or rejected) application for a new visa. Since it is not possible to renew a non-immigrant visa in the United States a person on a non-immigrant visa may travel to a nearby country to apply for a new visa.
The person is not a citizen of one of the countries designated by the US as a state sponsor of terrorism.
As of 2015, the list includes three countries: Iran (designated January 19, 1984), Syria (designated August 12, 1993), and Sudan (designated December 29, 1979). Cuba was removed on April 4, 2015.
For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the United States, see the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet.