Automatic Visa ReValidation (AVR - Within 30 days Canada, Mexico)

Originally published at: Automatic Visa ReValidation (AVR - Within 30 days Canada, Mexico) - USA

What is AVR? Automatic revalidation is an official process for people with expired visa stamps in their passports, to help them re-enter the USA without getting a new visa stamp. The short form is known as the AVR process. This CBP rule is also known as the contiguous territory rule. Who Can Use AVR? All…


Can AVR be used if I never had H1b stamped in my passport but have an old F1 visa stamped which expired in 2012? I am currently on h1b status (never stamped)

@anil_am22 Hoping you have some answer for this? Thanks,

Which country are you visiting and what is the purpose?

Have you read the article?

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Visiting Mexico for tourism.

Yes I did read the article but wasn’t clear if AVR can be used if someone never had H1b stamped (and only had old f1 stamp). I did change of status from F1 to H1 but have never had h1b stamped.

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You should be able to use it but it is risky as the cases without prior visa stamps are complex.

The article has an example if you missed it.

Hey @anil_am22

Is AVR rule valid for both H1B and H4 status? We have our individual I797 notices with paper I94s that are a result of our I-129 and I-539 filings.

I wanted to ensure that AVR can be used for H4 as well.


I have a valid i797 but I lost my passport with an expired visa stamps was lost(all my old stamps are in stolen passport).
I got a new Indian passport but it does not have any visa stamps. Can I re-enter USA from Canada using the AVR process?

@anil_am22 appreciate if you can suggest.

I don’t think you will be able to use AVR. You may have to get a new visa stamp to return to the US.

Also, did you report lost passport to police and US embassy? If not, then you should do it as early as possible.

If you do not report and someone uses your identity in future, you may get in trouble unnecessarily.


@anil_am22 Thanks for the response. DO you think at least I could go to Canada or Mexico for stamping on my new passport? or it should be happening in my home country i.e. India?

Hi @anil_am22
Thank you for the detailed article. However, I have one question, which probably, you could answer and also add in your article.

I have valid H-1B visa from previous employer, and I797A approval from another employer, I already have started with another employer, but I don’t have new H-1B stamp yet.
Will AVR work in this case, if I accompanied with my spouse with valid H-4 visa, visit to Canada for a short trip?

Appreciate your quick response. Thank you


I am on F1 - OPT with Valid visa stamped on passport. Recently, got my H1B approved and it starts from Oct 1st. 2021. The change of status from F1 to H1B is not yet taken place. I wan to visit Canada for one week. Can i visit Canada and comeback on F1 status before oct 1st? Let me know if there are any risks involved?

@anil_am22 To request expedited appointment for Canada, Consulate is asking to be in Canada to make request. So i was thinking to travel Canada(visitor visa) and request them. Just in case as backup plan i was thinking to return back if they deny the expedited request or the expedited appointment is longer than 10 days. I have approved I-797A petition with I-94 expiry 12/2023 and expired H1B visa. Let me know if AVR works in this case. I know the return to USA is based on outcome of the Visa Interview If i got appointment and attend interview.

AVR should work in your case.

Cool Thanks @anil_am22 . Also my expired H1B visa is from different employer and approved petition is from another employer. Hope this is will not be an issue.

I recently got my H4 and H4EAD Extension on June 12th,2021(valid for 2 yrs) and then my H1B got approved on JUly25th,2021.
Now I am planning to move out of the current company and I want to switch back to H4 so I can use H4EAD.

I have expired H4visa stamped in passport.

Do I need to get Canada visa to go by road/bus to do Automatic revalidation to switch back to H4?

Thank you.

You will need to apply for a visitor visa to crossover to Canada.

Hi @anil_am22,

I have COPR for Canada and I am planning to visit Canada for a day to complete my PR process and return the same day. I have my (first) H1B approved with valid i797A/i94(till sept 2022) but not stamped on passport. My wife has H4 VISA stamped on her passport.
My i140 application is filed and still under process. CBP website mention’s below point on people not eligible for AVR should i140 be regarded as new VISA?

“Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;”

I wanted to start tomorrow I am worried if I am eligible for AVR?

Thanks in advance!