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Automatic Extension of Validity Rule and Travel to Canada or Mexico

Travel to Canada and Mexico under the “Automatic Extension of Validity” Rule

  • In order to qualify for travel to Canada or Mexico under the “Automatic Extension of Validity” Rule, H-1B worker must have the following:
  • Must have Canadian or Mexican Visa Stamp to be admitted into Canada or Mexico
  • Visit to Canada or Mexico must be Less than 30 days
  • Passport must be valid for six months or more from the re-entry date to the U.S.
  • Must have I-94 card showing unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay
  • Must have Form I-797, Notice of Approval for H-1B
  • Must apply for ren-entry within the authorized period of initial admission or extension of stay
  • Must have proof of maintenance of valid H-1B status and intent to maintain status
  • Must not have any criminal record or other elements involving inadmissibility.  

What is Inadmissibility?

  • Individuals who are inadmissible are not permitted by law to enter or remain in the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act sets forth grounds for inadmissibility. The general categories of inadmissibility include health, criminal activity, national security, public charge, lack of labor certification (if required), fraud and misrepresentation, prior removals, unlawful presence in the United States, and several miscellaneous categories. For certain grounds of inadmissibility, it may be possible for a person to obtain a waiver of that inadmissibility. In some cases, exceptions are written into the law and no waiver is required to overcome the inadmissibility because the inadmissibility does not apply if the individual meets the exception. Examples include exceptions for aliens who have been battered, abused or subjected to extreme cruelty, who are victims of severe forms of trafficking, and who are minors.

DO NOT USE 30-day rule if 

  •  Have applied for a new H-1B visa which has not yet been issued
  • Applied for a new visa and was denied
  • Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions
  • Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
  • Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
  • Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the United States, other than Canada and Mexico.

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