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I've exited the US for a short (few days) trip to Canada. I've used my passport, but forgot to take my old passport — which has my (unexpired) US visa (tourist).

My current passport carries my most recent US entry stamp, and my I-94 is still valid.

Is there any chance they'll let me re-enter based on that? I know one can re-enter with an expired visa, but this case is different: the visa is unexpired, I just don't have it physically with me.

  • How will you be re-entering the US? Via land, air, or some other means? – Doc Jan 13 '16 at 3:02
  • Air, YVR to LAX. – Ilya Jan 13 '16 at 8:06
  • Can you have someone mail it to you? – Michael Hampton Jan 13 '16 at 13:54
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    What happened in the end? – JonathanReez Jun 19 '16 at 10:22
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    We managed to Fedex the old passport from Los Angeles to Vancouver just in time for my departure, so we didn't get to test any theories. – Ilya Jun 19 '16 at 20:37
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+150

You would have been able to enter without your old passport. Given that you spent less than 30 days in Canada (this would have been true for Mexico as well) your visa is re-validated upon entry (automatic revalidation).

Automatic revalidation does not require you to present a visa - it is the I-94 that is required. If you originally entered the US by air or sea, your valid passport is enough (the I-94 is electronic in this case), and if you originally entered the US by land, you present your passport and paper I-94 form (which should have been stapled into the passport).

Source: https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/auto_reva_3.pdf

  • The CFR says that validity of an expired visa may be automatically extended, which doesn't apply to the OP since his visa hasn't expired. – Berwyn Oct 3 '16 at 3:25
  • @Berwyn "The validity of an expired or unexpired nonimmigrant visa may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of readmission and the visa may be converted as necessary to that changed classification". Besides, the fact remains that it is not a requirement that the visa be presented – Crazydre Oct 3 '16 at 4:31
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    According to uscis.gov/ilink/docView/22CFR/HTML/22CFR/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-500/… unexpired is only for changed visas – Berwyn Oct 3 '16 at 4:34
  • @Berwyn You're right, I see it now. However, if you can get in on the sole basis of an unexpired I-94 if your visa is expired, why should it be any different if your visa is still valid? None of the info suggests that specifically, and I don't see, logically, why that should be the case. Any thoughts? – Crazydre Oct 3 '16 at 4:50
  • I honestly don't know. I can just imagine showing the CFR to the CBP agent who asks to see the visa to check if it's expired. Then rejects you because you don't have it. Or suppose they want to see your visa to check whether the I-94 is valid? It seems a bit of a risk without it being confirmed by someone or written somewhere. Maybe I'm too conservative – Berwyn Oct 3 '16 at 4:55
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No, you will need to show your visa for entry into US. This visa can be on your old passport too. However, you need to show your visa.

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    Can you please add some more? Like a link to an official publication and a quote from that or whether it is own experience. – Willeke Sep 23 '16 at 21:07

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