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How to Travel to Canada, Mexico with a Valid I-94 and without a valid H1B/L1/F1 Visa stamp and return to the United States?

6,114 views 5 comments
posted Jul 19, 2014 in Port of Entry (CBP) by dan (23,600 points)
edited Nov 24, 2015 by dan

It is very common that most H1B, L1, F1, J1, M1 and their dependents may not have a valid visa stamping to travel abroad if you have changed your status or extended your non-immigrants status. US Customs and Border Protection has made a provision to validate an expired non-immigrant visa to be automatically extended to the date of entry to the United States. This provision is called “AUTOMATIC RE-VALIDATION OF VISAS “

Please note that each visa category has exceptions of countries that you may travel and return to the United States without a VALID VISA STAMPING ON YOUR PASSPORT.

Apart from the exceptions and countries below, you will NOT need a visa stamping to travel to U.S Territories like Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Northern Mariana Islands as long as you have a valid I-94. 

Please note that your trip to these exempt countries and Return to the United States cannot exceed 30 days!

This exception applies only if you are traveling to few nearby countries and return to the United States under the following conditions:

Rules for H1, L1, J1, F1, and other Non-Immigrants and their dependents

You must be in possession of Form I-94 endorsed to show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension stay or in possession of the Certificate of Eligibility Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-20AB or SEVIS DS-2029

M-1 Student must also present a properly endorsed SEVIS Form I-20MN

You must be in possession of a valid passport, unless exempt

You have NOT attempted to apply for a for a new visa while abroad and it was refused

You have maintained your non-immigrants and you intend to resume non-immigrant status

Countries you may Travel (F1, J1 Non-Immigrants and their dependents only)

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Saint Pierre
  • Miquelon
  • Cuba
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Bermuda

5 Comments

commented Jun 4, 2015 by venu
I know under a visa waiver program (VWP)  [url="http://www.immigrationquestion.com"]immigrant[/url] can travel  to the United States for tourism purpose, but now i aware there are different ways we can travel without any visa. thanks a lot
commented Jun 6, 2015 by Sally
Hi

I am planning for a brief visit to Mexico. I have a valid I-94 and h1b visa till Jan 2015,however, my employer had initiated the LCA extension. Can someone tell me if its good to travel during the petition extension?

TIA
commented Jun 7, 2015 by Dan
Thats fine to travel as long as you have paystubs.
commented Jun 9, 2015 by Raj
From above:
           "Rules for H1, L1, J1, F1, and other Non-Immigrants and their dependents

           You must be in possession of Form I-94 endorsed to show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension stay or
            in possession of the Certificate of Eligibility Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-20AB or SEVIS   
           [b] DS-2029"[/b]



Should that be DS-2019 not DS-2029?
commented Jan 31 by Luca

Auto matic RE validation of visa i got this knowledge from homework help website  is use when  H1B, L1, F1, J1, M1 & their dependent have no valid stemp to travel abroad

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