Travel to Canada and Mexico


Berkeley International Office (BIO) currently recommends minimizing international travel due to the rapidly-changing nature of U.S. immigration policy. For important information regarding current U.S. immigration policy, Executive Orders, and travel advisories, please see BIO's Immigration Policy Updates & FAQ webpage.

Entering Canada

For a short visit, a tourist visa may be required from the Canadian government for citizens of certain countries and you can choose to apply online or through a paper application. For more information, visit Canada Citizenship and Immigration. For tips on entering Canada, see Canadian Border Services Agency.

Entering Mexico

Mexico Flag

For a short visit, a tourist visa may be required for citizens of certain countries. Others will need to obtain a tourist card to enter Mexico. A list of Mexican Consulates in the U.S. is available at Mexico Online.

Expired Visas and Returning to the U.S.: Automatic Revalidation

Automatic Revalidation means that an expired non-immigrant visa (F or J) may be considered automatically extended to the date of return to the U.S. under certain circumstances after visiting Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands for less than 30 days. If you are a citizen of Mexico or adjacent islands and plan to use Automatic Revalidation when visiting your home country, please talk to a BIO advisor before travel. Adjacent islands include:

Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Marie-Galante, Martinique, Miquelon, Montserrat, Saba, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Christopher, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre, Saint Vincent, Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Other British, French and Netherlands territory or possessions bordering on the Caribbean Sea.

Automatic Revalidation is NOT available in the following cases. Consult with Berkeley International Office in advance of your departure:

  • Nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba
  • Individuals who entered the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program
  • Individuals who will apply for a visa while in Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands

Automatic Revalidation Requirements:

If you are flying to Canada or Mexico, make sure the airline does not take your Paper Form I-94 Card upon departure from the U.S., if you have been issued one. If you have not been issued a Paper Form I-94 Card, then download a copy of the I-94 Electronic Record before departure from the U.S.

To re-enter the U.S. under automatic revalidation, you must have:

  1. Passport valid for at least six months from date of re-entry.
  2. U.S. visa stamp in your passport from your last entry to the U.S.
  3. Form I-20 or DS-2019 with current travel endorsement (see below, 'F or J Status')
  4. Paper Form I-94 card or download a copy of the I-94 Electronic Record
  5. It is strongly advised to carry recent evidence of financial support for the total duration of your stay in the U.S.; students may also want to carry a copy of current semester's Cal Central enrollment.
  6. F-1 students on OPT should carry the the documents listed on our Travel and Re-entry to the U.S. While on OPT page . J-1 students on post-completion Academic Training should bring proof of their Academic Training employment job offer letter.
  7. Other documents as listed below.

F or J Status

You must enter the U.S. with either a new Form I-20 or DS-2019or with your most current document PROPERLY ENDORSED for travel and re-entry within the past ten months (or within six months for F-1 students on OPT) by an International Advisor at Berkeley International Office.  If UC Berkeley did not issue your Form I-20 or DS-2019, contact your program sponsor at least two or three weeks before departure to obtain their signature.

More Information

Visit the Automatic Revalidation webpage on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website.

Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new non-immigrant visa while abroad, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.