San Jose, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: Can I visit Canada during H1B grace period and get automatic revalidation during re-entry to the US? (Indian citizen)

I dont have an H1B visa stamped in my passport but have a valid I797. I have a Canada visitor visa. I’m Indian born. I got laid off and entering my Grace period shortly. I’m interviewing.

For personal reasons Can I visit Canada for a weekend and get automatic revalidation during my grace period?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I understand your situation and the desire to visit Canada during your H1B grace period. However, automatic revalidation may not apply in your case for the following reasons:

1. Nationality: Automatic revalidation is not available to nationals of countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism, which includes Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea. While India is not on this list, it's important to note this restriction.

2. Visa stamp: For automatic revalidation, you typically need a valid visa stamp in your passport, not just a valid I-797 approval notice. Without a valid H1B visa stamp, you may not be eligible for automatic revalidation.

3. Grace period: Automatic revalidation is generally applicable when you have a valid nonimmigrant status. Since you are entering your grace period after being laid off, your status may be considered to be in a grey area, which could complicate your re-entry to the United States.

Given these factors, it is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney who can assess your specific situation and provide guidance on whether traveling to Canada during your grace period is feasible and if automatic revalidation would apply in your case. They can also advise you on any potential risks and alternatives.

It's crucial to carefully consider your travel plans and their potential impact on your immigration status, especially while you are interviewing for new employment opportunities during your grace period.

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