Travel to or through another country or Canada-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Travel to or through another country or Canada

Travel to any country which is not your home country

Your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence will determine your need for a visa to enter and/or travel through another country. For example, a citizen of the UK may not need a visa to visit Canada, but a citizen of PR China will need a visa to visit Canada. Check with the embassy or consulate of each country to determine if you need a visa. Check here for a listing of foreign consulates in the US. Applying for visas can be costly and time consuming, so plan several months in advance. Remember, even if your plane is landing in another country temporarily, you may need a transit visa even if you will not exit the plane.

Travel to Canada

For information on travel to Canada, visit the Canadian website and refer to the OIE handouts "Applying for US Visa in Canada."

Application for a US visa in a country which is not your own country

You may have reason to apply for a US visa in a country other than your home country. An advance appointment with the US consulate is almost always required in this case. Generally, you should have a good reason for applying for a US visa at a US consulate which is not located in your home country. A good reason might be participation in a professional conference in the third country. Realize that US State Department's preference is for you to handle visa issuance in your home country, so you will not have top priority in another country. OIE has contact information for US consulates located around the world. Also, you may check the US Department of State website.

Refer to the information in the OIE handout "Applying for a visa in a country which is not your home country," but reference the appropriate list of documents for persons in J and H status below.

Automatic visa revalidation to Canada, Mexico, and other contiguous territories

If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or one of the Caribbean island nations (other than Cuba) for pleasure or vacation for fewer than 30 days, you can return to the US using an expired US entry visa of any type, as long as you have a valid passport, I-94, and signed DS-2019 for persons in J status and copy of the H-1B Approval Notice and other H documents for persons in H status. This is called Automatic Visa Revalidation.

NOTE: Citizens of Cuba, Iran, Syria, and the Sudan are not eligible for automatic revalidation.

NOTE: Residents of Mexico or the Caribbean island nations who are returning to the US from their home countries may not use this revalidation rule.

Last updated: December 2, 2016