Automatic revalidation for certain temporary visitors

Department of State - Automatic 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.