Due to heavy demand, the U.S. consulates processing nonimmigrant visas in Canada will have limited visa availability for applicants that are nationals of countries other than Canada (Third Country Nationals). The Department of State (DOS) which administers the embassy and consulates has indicated that this peak period will last from June through August. During this period, Third Country Nationals will not be able to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at Canadian posts. Although the public was informed that Canadian posts would continue to honor visa appointments already scheduled by Third Country Nationals, we have received word that Canadian posts are not processing visa applications for Third Country Nationals and that appointments are being cancelled.
Nonimmigrants should note that if they are only traveling to Mexico or Canada for a period of 30 days or less, they are eligible to travel using an expired visa under the Automatic Visa Revalidation provisions. The requirements include:
- Travel to Mexico or Canada (no other country may be traveled to from Mexico or Canada before re-entering the United States). Students in F and J classification are eligible to travel to adjacent islands in addition to Mexico and Canada (except Cuba);
- Trip is of 30 days or less;
- Valid passport (Nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba are ineligible to take advantage of this law);
- If the nonimmigrant was issued a paper I-94 Arrival/Departure Record they must not surrender it upon departing the United States (students must show a Form I-20 or DS-2029);
- Not apply for a new visa while abroad;
- Maintenance of status and intention to resume the nonimmigrant status upon their return to the United States; and
- Does not require a waiver for admission.
Nonimmigrants who choose to use the Automatic Visa Revalidation provisions are also reminded that unfortunately this law is not as widely known and understood as we would like. In our experience, airline staff and even Custom and Border Protection officers themselves are not aware of it or do not understand it. For this reason, we recommend that you contact us to discuss the risks entailed with your international travel so that we may help you anticipate any issues.