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Traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the Adjacent Islands

Visas to Enter Adjacent Countries

Students from certain countries may require a visa to enter Canada, Mexico, or the contiguous Caribbean islands.  Check the links below to determine whether or not you need a visa and, if yes, how to apply for that visa.

Re-entering the U.S. (Automatic Revalidation)

After initial entry to the US, an F-1 student who has a single-entry visa or an expired multiple-entry visa may re-enter the U.S. without obtaining a new visa under the following conditions:

  • Travel is solely to a contiguous territory (Canada or Mexico) or adjacent island (excluding Cuba)
  • Travel is for a period not exceeding 30 days
  • The student has retained a printed copy of his or her I-94 record
  • The student has his or her DSO endorsed I-20 (or DS-2019 with valid travel signature)
  • The student has not applied for a new visa at a U.S. embassy with the result being either a denial or delay of more than 30 days
  • The student is not a citizen of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria

Automatic revalidation does not apply if you travel to any other country before returning to the U.S. or apply for a new U.S. visa in Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent islands. If you apply for a new visa* [renewing your visa], you must wait until that visa is returned to you to re-enter the U.S.

Please speak to your DSO if you have further questions about automatic revalidation.

Applying for a U.S. Visa in an Adjacent Country

Applying for a visa in a country adjacent to the U.S. can be a difficult process if you are not a citizen of that country. Please speak to your DSO before making plans to apply for a visa while inside an adjacent country.