Under Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR), certain individuals holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the US may be admitted at a US port of entry. Here’s how to determine if you qualify and are eligible for AVR.
What is Automatic Visa Revalidation?
Automatic Visa Revalidation is the process by which US Customs and Border Protection will allow travel for 30 days or less based on an expired visa, as long as certain criteria are met. This allows for qualifying travel without the need to renew your visa at a consulate or embassy.
Do I qualify for Automatic Visa Revalidation?
The first step is determining whether you qualify for AVR. To qualify, individuals must fall into one of the following two categories:
- Nonimmigrants who departed the United States for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for 30 days or less
- Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) admission stamp or paper Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
I qualify for Automatic Visa Revalidation. Am I eligible?
A qualifying person is then eligible for AVR provided the following conditions are met:
- The underlying authorization for the current status continues to be valid for Form I-129 for non-immigrant workers and Form I-20 for students in F status
- The person’s absence from the United States is 30 days or less
- The person did not visit any countries other than Mexico or Canada in that period (travelers who are on an F visa or J visa status are allowed to visit adjacent islands to the United States, like the Caribbean)
- The person does not have a pending or rejected the application for a new visa (since it is not possible to renew a nonimmigrant visa in the United States, a person on a nonimmigrant 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 United States as a state sponsor of terrorism
Additional Outside Resources
- USCBP: Automatic Visa Revalidation
- USCBP: Official Site for Travelers Visiting the United States – Apply for or Retrieve Form I-94, Request Travel History, and Check Travel Compliance
- USCIS: I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
We Can Help!
Don’t know where to start? The immigration attorneys at Richards and Jurusik have more than 20 years of experience in US immigration law. If you have questions about your particular situation, contact us for an assessment of your US immigration matters.