If you are a Mexican citizen working in the United States on a TN Visa with an expired TN visa stamp, you might be able to travel under automatic visa revalidation. Before you travel, make sure you meet the criteria to re-enter the United States. We discuss automatic visa revalidation as it applies to Mexican citizens with expired TN visa stamps here.
As a Mexican citizen can I travel with an expired TN visa stamp?
In some cases, Mexican citizens with expired TN visa stamps are able to travel outside of the United States without the need to obtain a new TN visa stamp. This is done through the process of Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR).
We often see AVR used when an employer has extended their employee’s TN Visa status by mail with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through Form I-129 Petition for Foreign Worker and not with the Consulate. When an extension is approved by USCIS, an I-797 Approval Notice is issued with new I-94 cards attached at the bottom of the approval notice. The approval grants an extension of status up until the expiry date indicated on the approval notice and the new I-94. The worker is then allowed to continue their employment without the need to obtain a new visa stamp in their passport.
Do I qualify for automatic visa revalidation (AVR) of my TN Visa?
Automatic visa revalidation (AVR) is the process by which an expired TN Visa may be considered automatically extended to the date for application for readmission at a US port of entry. The following requirements must be met for AVR to apply to a Mexican citizen with an expired TN Visa stamp:
- Have a valid passport.
Must be seeking readmission to the United States from a contiguous territory (Canada or Mexico).
Your stay outside the United States did not exceed 30 days.
- You have a valid I-94 showing an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay. The I-797 approval from USCIS will contain the new I-94.
You do not require a non-immigrant waiver.
- You have not applied for a new visa stamp while in Canada or Mexico.
- You have maintained and intend to resume your TN Visa status.
What should I carry with me for the automatic revalidation of my TN visa?
If you are a Mexican citizen traveling to Canada or Mexico on an expired TN visa stamp and you meet the above criteria, you should carry the following with you:
- A current support letter from your employer confirming that you are still employed under the same terms and conditions that your TN visa status was approved under.
- Your original I-797 Approval Notice along with the attached I-94 cards.
- Your valid passport.
- You can also carry the following CBP Memo with you: CBP AVR Memo
Is automatic revalidation of my TN visa guaranteed?
No. There is no guarantee that CBP will grant re-entry under AVR. However, in most cases with the proper documentation, CBP will revalidate your TN Visa for re-entry to the United States. The safest approach is to plan any trips outside the United States after your TN visa stamp has expired around a vacation. During that vacation plan ahead and schedule an appointment at the Consulate to obtain a new TN visa stamp. Traveling with a valid TN visa stamp is the safest most reliable way to travel.
Additional Outside Resources
- DOS – Automatic Revalidation
- CBP Automatic Visa Revalidation Memo
- 22 CFR Section 41.112 – Validity of visa.
We Can Help!
The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 30+ years of experience helping Mexican citizens work and live in the United States on TN visa status. Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.