Travel to Canada and Mexico

Applying for a U.S. Visa at a U.S. Consulate in Canada or Mexico

OVIS recommends you apply in your home country, whenever possible.  If your application processing is delayed, it is usually preferable to wait in your home country than a third country.

The U.S. Consulates in Canada and Mexico sometimes suspend visa processing operations for third country nationals, so it is important to check in advance. 

Speak to your OVIS advisor before planning a trip to Canada or Mexico for your visa application.

Automatic Revalidation

After initial entry to the U.S., nonimmigrants who have an expired visa in their passport may re-enter the U.S. without obtaining a new visa if their travel was solely to the contiguous countries of Canada and Mexico.  F and J visa holders may also be able to benefit from Automatic Revalidation after travel to the Caribbean Islands (excluding Cuba).  Travel must be for a period of fewer than 30 days. This procedure is known as Automatic Revalidation of the U.S. visa.

To take advantage of Automatic Revalidation, travelers must have, in addition to the documents for re-entry stated above, a copy of their electronic I-94 record (or white I-94 card, if you have one).

  • If you are a citizen of Cuba, Iran, Sudan, or Syria, you are not eligible for automatic revalidation of your expired non-immigrant visa.
     
  • If you have applied for a new visa while out of the country, you may not re-enter the U.S. until the new visa is issued, even if your old visa is still valid.
     
  • Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be required to have an entry visa for Canada, Mexico or any of the other Caribbean nations in order to enter those countries. Your U.S. visa does not automatically grant entry into these other contiguous countries. 

You can find more information on Automatic Revalidation on the U.S. Department of State website.