1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Automatic Visa Revalidation

Discussion in 'General nonimmigrant visa issues' started by Ron Gotcher, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    We continue to receive inquiries about automatic visa revalidation. The following article is from our main website at http://www.imminfo.com/Library/niv/automatic-visa-revalidation-avr.html. We urge those of you with pressing questions to go to http://www.imminfo.com and use the search feature to find quick answers.


    Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR)
    Automatic Visa Revalidation, or AVR, is a term used to describe a benefit given to nonimmigrant visitors to the United States who maintain lawful status and wish to visit Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island only, for up to 30 days. If the nonimmigrant has a form I-94 that has not yet expired, nor will expire by the time the person wishes to return to the United States, then the I-94 takes the place of the otherwise required visa. This is true even if the individual received a change of nonimmigrant status (such as from F-1 to H1B). The I-94 will be treated as though it were a visa issued for the appropriate category.

    The legal authority for this is found at 8 CFR 41.112(d).

    Anyone intending to use this provision should take particular note of the following:
    • If you apply for a visa at a U.S. consular office, you may not use AVR to reenter the United States irrespective of whether the visa is or is not issued.
    • You must retain your original form I-94 - do not allow the airline to take it if you fly to your destination.
    • You must return within 30 days.
    • You may not travel to any other countries.
    • Citizens of certain countries that have been designated as state sponsors of terrorism are not eligible for AVR.
    Please also see the State Department information sheet on AVR.
     
  2. nikhs84

    nikhs84 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Hi Ron,

    I have one question on the AVR. Do we get a new stamp based on AVR when we enter the USA? or it is just the case that admission to the USA is allowed, but if we travel to our home country i.e. India in my case, we still have to go for stamping there.
     
  3. DonDraper

    DonDraper Guru

    Messages:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    1,307
    Trophy Points:
    113
    AVR only applies to travel to neighboring countries like Canada and Mexico
     
  4. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    You might get a new admission stamp in your passport, but likely not. If you go anywhere other than Canada or Mexico, you need a new visa to return.
     
  5. nikhs84

    nikhs84 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks Don and Ron.

    I was just thinking if I can visit Canada before I go to India and avoid my stamping in India.

    Regards
     
  6. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    If you visit any country other than Canada or Mexico, AVR does not apply.
     
    PDCOM likes this.
  7. St Jude

    St Jude Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Hello Ron,

    I am planning on visiting Canada to complete my Canadian PR landing process with my family this summer likely in July 2106. I am on H1 and wife and kid are in H4. We have H1 & H4 valid till Nov 2016 our VISA expired in 2013. I should be able to avail AVR on my way back to US in San francisco Airport is my understanding. We plan to stay for a week in Canada and not apply for VISA while there. I plan on flying, Should I hold on to my I-94 on my flight to Canada so I can use it when I get back. Please let me know if I need to do anything else to avail AVR. ?
     
  8. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    Hold on to your I=94 and present it at pre-flight inspection in Canada when you return to the U.S.
     
  9. ht7

    ht7 Guru

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    43

    FYI, US Immigration is completed at the Canadian airport itself.
     
  10. St Jude

    St Jude Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ron,Thanks for your guidance.
     
  11. St Jude

    St Jude Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks ht7.
     
  12. St Jude

    St Jude Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Dear Ron,

    I had planned on combining my Canada PR landing and H1B stamping together, so I submitted DS160 two weeks ago, but there are no dates available this whole year and I did not pay the VISA fees. Now I dropped the H1B stamping plan, just go ahead with my PR landing trip and come back using AVR. Having submitted the DS160 will it prevent me from using AVR?
    Kindly let me know your thoughts. Thanks a lot.
     
  13. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    No it shouldn't. The visa application is only complete when they accept it and interview you.
     
  14. St Jude

    St Jude Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks a lot Ron for you guidance.
     
  15. St Jude

    St Jude Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Dear Ron

    I wanted to followup on all the questions you help answer and share my experience on AVR. Thank you.

    Long story short, Last week I was able to complete our Canada PR process smoothly and get back to US via Air using AVR at Vancouver. While I had submitted my DS-160 but never got an VISA appointment.

    Long story for the benefit of others.

    I wanted to share my experience on my Canada PR landing and using AVR (via air) to get back to US.

    PR landing process was very smooth we flew in and were the last in line for immigration. There were 2 officers at the counters, it was about 9:45pm on a Sat. They took us in for the Process both the officers split our papers, we were 3 of us. All in all in less than 30 minutes were done. They filled our PR application form as well. And asked for a $ amount for POF. Did not ask for any other documents. except couple question, on what VISA I was in US,what do I work as and why did you want to move to Canada.

    Both were friendly and welcoming. We were told in a few weeks we should get our PR cards in mail.

    AVR: We got to the counter 4 hrs before our flight.This got a little interesting the lady in the Airline checkin counter (West jet in Vancouver) did not know what AVR was and has not seen a I-797. She spent about 10 minutes reading every word in it and she said I can’t allow you to board the flight since you don’t have a VISA. I showed her the AVR rule and she said she can’t go by that and if she allowed us and US CBP officer thinks that I was wrong then the airlines will get penalized for each of the passengers and will have to spend money to get us back to where we came from and she’ll get reprimanded. She said I-94 can be used only on land and she don’t know if I94 is allowed in airplane. She was more panicked then I was :).She checked with lady in next counter and she had no clue, she called their help desk they had not clue, she called her supervisor and same story. After about 30 minutes she said I’ll have to ask for a US CBP to check on this.

    I told her sure please do. All this time I was patient and relaxed but praying (thanks to other members post of their experience on the airline staff’s lack ok knowledge on AVR rule). With in 5 minutes a US CBP office came by, he checked my H1B and passport and asked me the following;
    How long did we stay in Canada
    What was the purpose
    If I changed employer( my expired visa and my current H1B employers were different)

    The US CBP office was kind and knowledgable.

    He then told the Airline staff that we are good to enter US and we can be issued boarding passes. He explained to her how AVR works and said he’ll go back to his office check on some more things and call her back. He also showed the lady what entries to make in the airline software, entered the old visa # and thats it.

    While the lady wad working on the boarding pass process the officer called and told that we are good to fly. By the time we got our boarding pass it was about 45-50 minutes.

    We then cleared the security check and arrived at US immigration.

    The US immigration office had no issues, looking at me he asked H1 and H4? I said yes and he replied I gathered that. I gave him our passports and I-797, he took about 10 minutes for all 3 of us and were done. The adults were 10 printed and photos taken. He stamped our passports, took the old I-94 but did not give a new I94. Today I was able to retrieve the I-94 online.

    Using AVR by Air seems to be very rare and as long as you have the right documents (valid passport, old paper I94, H1/H4) then you are good. No request for any supporting docs what so ever. Key is fool proof documents, patience and some good luck.

    Hope this help others and thanks to all who helped.
     
    PDCOM and hkumar.ven like this.
  16. PDCOM

    PDCOM Guru

    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    358
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I have travelled to Canada on expired visa stamp. I always carried thd rule hardcopy. Did not have to use it anytime. Done this by air / by driving (land) from Detroit on multiple occasions. Only once did I have to wait at border but that was random check.
     

Share This Page