Can I re-enter the U.S. with a valid I-94 and expired visa? – Automatic revalidation for certain temporary visitors
Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:
A nonimmigrant who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent islands (for F and J nonimmigrant) for thirty days or less;
Nonimmigrant who have changed their nonimmigrant status (for F and J nonimmigrant) to another nonimmigrant status through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and has a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS can travel to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island for thirty days or less.
Nonimmigrant who is eligible to re-enter the U.S. pursuant to the authority of automatic revalidation is not able to benefit from the automatic revalidation process if the passport of the nonimmigrant reflects evidence that while in a contiguous territory or on an adjacent island the nonimmigrant applied for a new visa and is pending a decision or has been denied a new visa application.
For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S. visit the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on page 18 of the Carrier Information Guide on CBP.gov. Note: Carrier Information Guide is currently being updated to accurately reflect the countries listed below.
Nationals of Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are not eligible for automatic revalidation of an expired visa.
GAO Report – Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen Customs and Border Protection Efforts to Mitigate Risk of Employee Corruption and Misconduct
The United States Government Accountability Office report (link below) delivered to Congressional requesters is comprehensively summarized by its very title: “Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen CBP [Customs and Border Protection] Efforts to Mitigate Risk of Employee Corruption and Misconduct”
“CBP is the largest uniformed law enforcement agency in the United States, with approximately 21,400 BPAs patrolling between the nation’s ports of entry and more than 20,000 CBPOs stationed at air, land, and seaports nationwide at the end of fiscal year 2011. … The total number of CBP employees increased from 43,545 in fiscal year 2006 to 60,591 as of August 2012….
On the U.S. southwest border, there are about 5,500 CBPOs and 18,000 BPAs as of the end of fiscal year 2011. CBPOs, based within OFO, are responsible for processing immigration documentation of passengers and pedestrians and inspecting vehicles and cargo at U.S. ports of entry. BPAs are based within the USBP and are responsible for enforcing immigration laws across the territory in between the ports of entry and at checkpoints located inside the U.S. border. Together, CBPOs and BPAs are responsible for detecting and preventing the illegal entry of persons and contraband, including terrorists and weapons of mass destruction, across the border.”
The GAO report concluded that much more could be done to decrease misconduct and corruption in the agency:
NAFSA has issued an alert that Customs and Border Protection will no longer stamp I-20s at ports of entry (POEs). USCIS is reaching out to other agencies, such as the DMV, to inform them of the change, since many agencies require the I-20 stamp prior to granting benefits.