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Automatic Revalidation

Last updated on Oct 14, 2019

Automatic Revalidation allows, under certain circumstances, students who visit Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands for fewer than 30 days to reenter the United States with an expired F-1 visa.

Adjacent islands include the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Miquelon, Saint Pierre, Trinidad, the Windward and Leeward Islands, and other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea.

Cuba is not included as an adjacent island.

Eligibility for Automatic Revalidation

Please carefully review the Customs and Border Protection's information sheet on automatic revalidation before considering this as an option. Be prepared to explain your decision to travel on an expired visa and using automatic revalidation for re-entry into the United States to a Customs agent.

You must not:

  • Remain in Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island for more than 30 days
  • Apply for an American visa while in Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island
  • Travel to any other noncontiguous country
  • Be a citizen of Cuba, Iran, Sudan, or Syria (citizens of these countries are not eligible for automatic revalidation)

It is highly recommended to print out your electronic I-94 before departing the US and have it with you upon reentry. (See instructions for printing your electronic I-94 below.)

Required Documents

You must have the following documents upon reentry to the Untied States:

  • Valid passport
  • F-1 visa stamp in your passport
  • I-20 with valid travel signature
  • Printout of your electronic I-94

When printing your electronic I-94, you will need to enter some information to retrieve and print your record, so please have your passport with your F-1 visa in it when accessing this site.

Please contact ISAP with any questions or concerns about printing your electronic I-94.

If you are on OPT, please also have the following documents with you:

  • EAD card
  • Letter from your employer confirming that you are on an employer-approved vacation and will continue your employment with them upon return to the US.