Automatic visa revalidation (AVR) is a provision of immigration law that allows certain qualifying individuals to re-enter the United States after a brief trip of 30 days or less to Mexico, Canada, or “adjacent islands”* with an expired visa. 22 CFR 41.112(d).
Who is eligible for AVR?
- Have any expired nonimmigrant visa and
- Have a valid I-94 and
- F-1 students or F-2 dependents must be in possession of a Form I–20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, issued by the school that the student has been authorized to attend by DHS and endorsed by the issuing school official to indicate the period of initial admission or extension of stay authorized by DHS
- J-1exchange visitors and J-2 dependents must be in possession of a current Form DS–2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J–NONIMMIGRANT), issued and endorsed by the Department of State-designated sponsor of the exchange program, to indicate the period of initial admission authorized by DHS or the extension of stay authorized by the Department of State
- Are re-entering the United States after a brief trip of no more than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, or in some cases an adjacent island as defined in INA 101(b)(5) and
- Have maintained and intend to maintain nonimmigrant status and
- Have a currently valid passport and
- Do not require authorization for admission under INA 212(d)(3) and
- INA 213(d)(3) authorizes grants the Attorney General to waive many, but not all, grounds of inadmissibility for those seeking to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant.
- Have not applied for a new visa while abroad.
* Travel to adjacent islands is only permitted under AVR for those in F and J status.
The definition of adjacent islands is given at INA 101(b)(5) and includes:
The Dominican Republic
The Windward and Leeward Islands
Other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea
Example: Client #1 entered in F-2 status for duration of status has successfully changed to L-1A status. They have not yet traveled outside of the United States to apply for an L-1 visa stamp. The F-2 visa in their passport has already expired. Client #1 would be able to take a brief trip of 30 days or less to Canada or Mexico and return with their L-1A change of status approval notice and the valid F-2 I-94 from their last entry to the United States.
Who is not eligible for AVR?
- Have applied for a visa while outside of the United States and it was denied or is pending issuance
- Note – in our experience, those who have submitted E-1/E-2 documents to the Consulate and have been pending review/an interview have not been eligible for AVR.
- Have an expired I-94
- Have traveled to a country other than Mexico, Canada, or in some cases an adjacent island as defined in INA 101(b)(5)
- Are nationals of a country on the Department of State’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list
- At time of writing, this list includes: Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, and Syria
- Require authorization for admission under INA 212(d)(3)
Example: Client #2 entered in F-2 status for duration of status has successfully changed to L-1A status. There is an expired F-2 visa in their passport. Client #2 traveled home to Mexico and attended an interview for their L-1 visa at the Consulate. They are told their application requires additional administrative processing and they will be notified when to send their passport back for stamping. They have only been in Mexico for 7 days. Since Client #2 has already applied for the L-1 visa, they cannot use AVR to re-enter on the F-2 I-94 and L-1A change of status approval notice because they already applied for a visa outside of the US.
Example: Client #3 entered in F-2 status for duration of status has successfully changed to L-1A status. There is an expired F-2 visa in their passport. They took a brief, 5 day business trip to Canada. While in Canada they took a flight to the United Kingdom to visit family for another 5 days before returning to Canada. They did not apply for an L-1 visa in either country. Client #3 is not eligible to use AVR to re-enter on the F-2 I-94 and L-1A change of status approval notice because they traveled to a country other than Canada or Mexico during the brief trip.
Contact the Law Offices of James D. Eiss today if you would like to set up a consult on Automatic Visa Revalidation.