Travel to Canada, Mexico and Contiguous Islands
(Travel excludes Cuba)
- I-20 or DS-2019 must be endorsed for re-entry to the U.S.
- Check with the destination embassy to determine if visa is required.
- If you plan to apply for a U.S. visa, please check with an ISSS advisor. Conditions change frequently.
- If you are applying for a new visa stamp and your current visa has expired or has no more entries, you take a definite risk.
- The U.S. consulate may deny your visa application.
- You will be stuck in that country, and will need to make plans to travel home from there.
- If you are NOT applying for a new visa stamp, your visa has expired, and you will be in that country for 30 days or less, you may be eligible for automatic visa revalidation and you can re-enter the U.S. with the expired stamp.
Automatic Extension of Visa
- F and J visa holders who travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (other than Cuba) for 30 days or less with an expired visa stamp may be eligible for an automatic extension of their visa upon re-entry to the U.S.
- The visa will be extended to the date of application for re-admission to the U.S.
- This provision does not apply to those whose visas have been canceled or those who do not have a visa stamp.
- Travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan and Cuba are not eligible for automatic extension.
- Students/scholars with expired visa stamps who have been denied visa stamps in the travel destination are not eligible for automatic extension.
- Students that have not applied for visa stamps in the travel destination are eligible.
- The student or scholar must have maintained valid status, and must intend to continue maintaining valid status.
- Those who have changed their visa status in the U.S. are eligible for automatic extension if they have their previous visa stamp, plus the stamped I-20 or DS-2019, and the I-94 card or I-797A documenting that the change of status was approved by USCIS.
To qualify for Automatic Extension, Visa holders must possess:
- A visa to enter the adjacent country, if required
- An unexpired passport
- An expired visa stamp (If the expired visa stamp is in an expired passport, that passport and visa stamp must also be presented upon re-entry to the U.S.)
- An I-20 or DS-2019 endorsed for travel
- I-94 marked D/S (Do not give up your I-94 when you leave the U.S.)
- Evidence of an USCIS approved change of status, (e.g. I-797A and/or I-94 card), and I-20 or DS-2019 stamped by USCIS
- PLEASE NOTE: With Automatic Revalidation, your I-94 card should NOT be taken from you upon exiting the U.S.