Travel to Canada, Mexico, or Adjacent Islands

Obtaining a Visa to Enter Canada or Mexico

Citizens of certain countries need to apply for a tourist visa to enter Canada or Mexico. The Canadian Consulate in Boston does not issue tourist visas. Please visit the Canadian consulate website for specific information regarding Canadian tourist visa requirements. Please visit the web site of the Embassy of Mexico for specific information regarding Mexican tourist visa requirements.

Automatic Visa Revalidation

Generally, international students and scholars must present a valid, unexpired visa each time they enter the United States, except for Canadian citizens. An exception to this rule exists for nonimmigrants who travel for less than 30 days solely to Canada or Mexico, or, in the case of F or J nonimmigrants only, to Canada, Mexico or "adjacent islands other than Cuba." This process is known as "automatic visa revalidation". Please review the automatic visa revalidation qualifications prior to travel to ensure that your trip qualifies.

To reenter the U.S., students and scholars need to have valid passports, unexpired visa documents (Form I-20, DS-2019, or I-797), and a printout of their I-94 record. Please be sure to specifically ask for automatic visa revalidation from the port of entry official who inspects you back into the U.S. We also recommend printing the automatic revalidation page of the CBP website to take with you. Citizens of North Korea, Syria, Sudan and Iran are not eligible for automatic visa revalidation.

Traveling to Canada or Mexico to Apply for a New U.S. Visa

Harvard students and scholars who hold F or J visas should not plan to travel to Canada or Mexico to apply for a visa from a U.S. consulate without consulting their HIO advisors in advance. Any Third Country National (a person applying at a U.S. consulate/embassy in a country other than his/her own) who applies for a visa in Canada or Mexico must have the application approved before returning to the U.S. If the applicant is unable to get approval of the new visa application in Canada or Mexico, s/he will not be permitted to reenter the U.S. The applicant may need to travel to his/her home country directly from either Canada or Mexico to apply for the proper visa in order to reenter the U.S.