my main two questions are:

Can I travel to Europe having a ticket from US to Mexico and then another one from Mexico back to US (with 2 weeks difference) but going to Europe in the middle of those 2 flights (specifically, to Amsterdam)? Like kind of a trip to Europe and back but with a one day layover each way. I wonder if I would be able to re-enter the US after this trip or if I would have some problems at customs.

If not, do I have other options for traveling to Europe and coming back while having my TN expired but my I-94 valid? I was thinking of using my B1/B2 visa to re-enter the us (if that’s a possibility).

I checked other travel stackexchange questions and none of them are asking for the specifics of traveling to Europe with an expired TN and whether the trip is fine as long as I depart to and return from Mexico.

The whole background for my specific situation is:

I’m a Mexican citizen and I've been working in the US for a few years now (always legally), my latest TN visa expired more than a year ago and my current employer filled an I-797C form to extend my working period validity (the document is listed as a TN2 class request). After filling that form, I received an I-797A “approval notice” mentioning that the extension was approved and such document ha dan I-94 at the bottom valid until 2021.

I have already presented my expired TN visa together with the TN2 approval notice (which has the newest I-94) to re-enter the US after several short term (less than 30 days) trips to Mexico but I never left Mexico in any of those trips. This time I want to do the same but traveling outside of Mexico in the middle of my stay, I want to do this trip, I even bought my flight tickets already but after reading different sources I don’t know if I will be able to re-enter the US to continue working normally.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, I’m planning on changing my employer in about 2 moths (after the trip) for which I would need to apply for a new TN visa with my new employer and it doesn’t make sense for me to get another TN visa with my current employer (for being able to travel anywhere).

I was reading this official government site and it explicitly says that nonimmigrant visa holders may be admitted at CBP if they meet certain requirements like “Nonimmigrants who departed the United States for brief travel to Canada, Mexico”. I would technically be doing a brief travel to Mexico but not sure if I’m ok by leaving Mexico in the middle of such brief travel.

In the other hand, I was also reading this other official government site which makes me think I will actually face problems when re-entering because of the part that says “ The person did not visit any countries other than Mexico or Canada in that period.”.

So I’m really confused whether I should do this trip or not (again, the total trip is only 2 weeks) because I need to be able to re-enter the US after that.

If I can’t do this trip, I also believe there might be other ways of being able to travel that I’m not even aware of (other than requesting a new TN visa).

Also, I don’t know if using my B1/B2 for re-entering is valid (or even recommended).

So I’m asking for people expertise in here to know a real answer on whether I can or cannot proceed with my travel plans (and any alternatives, if not).

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read.

2 Answers 2


You have basically answered your own question.

When you have a short trip to Mexico and return to the US, as you've stated, you are re-entered under your existing I-94 "status" under the Automatic Revalidation process.

One of the condition for Automatic Revalidation is that you have only traveled to Mexico or one of a few other close countries, but not to any other country - such as Amsterdam.

If you were to visit Amsterdam and then try and re-enter the US it is certainly possible that the US immigration staff would not realize you left Mexico and entered Amsterdam, however if they were to look at your passport closely enough they could be able to confirm that due to the entry stamp for Amsterdam. If this was to occur you would almost certainly be refused entry into the US.

You can NOT use a B1/B2 visa to re-enter the US. Doing so would invalidate your TN status and you would be entered into the US in B1/B2 status instead, which would leave you unable to work as the B1/B2 is not a work visa.

  • Thank you for replying, I was thinking maybe the Mexico destination would solve it but you're right about the stamping... Sad that I already bought the tickets. Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 1:45

You can you use B1/B2 visa but if you enter with this visa, you will enter as a visitor. You will not be able to work in the US and must leave within the time stamped on the I-94. So if you are ready to go ahead and quit your job and just want to visit the US in the interim before returning to Mexico to apply for a new TN for your new job, this will work.

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