Center for International Programs

International Student Services

Travel to Canada and Automatic Revalidation

Entry into Canada

F-1 and J-1 students in the United States who wish to travel to Canada must have in their possession:

• Valid passport
• Valid I-94 form
• Valid travel document (I-20 or DS-2019)
• Evidence of sufficient funds for period of stay
• Evidence of return trip arrangements

In addition, citizens of certain countries may be required to apply for a Canadian entry visa.  Instructions on how to apply for a visa to visit Canada (for those who need one) can be obtained at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Why isn’t a valid visa on the list of required documents?

If you are an F-1 or J-1 student traveling to a Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands of the Caribbean (see below), you do NOT need a valid visa and you do NOT need to obtain a new visa stamp to reenter the United States. This provision is called Automatic Revalidation and to be eligible for it you must:

  • Presently be in valid F-1 or J-1 student status
  • Have a valid I-20 or DS-2019 Form in your possession, which has been signed by an advisor in CIP for travel
  • Have an unexpired I-94 card with you (do NOT surrender it when you leave the U.S.)
  • Have an unexpired passport valid at least six months into the future
  • Have a previously-issued nonimmigrant visa (even for a different nonimmigrant classification)
  • Be in one of the contiguous territories or adjacent islands for less than thirty (30) days

Countries where Automatic Revalidation is an option:

Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands: Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Miquelon, Saint Pierre, Trinidad and Tobago, Windward Islands (Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent), Leeward Islands (Anguilla, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, and the British Virgin Islands), and other British, French and Dutch territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea

*NOTE: The Automatic Revalidation valid visa exemption does NOT apply to students who are citizens of the countries named above. In those cases, students must obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa to re-enter the U.S., except for Canadians.   If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need a passport or an entry visa to enter the U.S. from Canada or another country within the Western Hemisphere (a passport is required for entry from a third country outside the Western Hemisphere).

Student from the following countries are ineligible for Automatic Revalidation:
Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria

If you will be applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa while in Canada click on this link for IMPORTANT information.