A visa revalidation allows a person to renew their visa without leaving the United States.  The visa revalidation process is only available to people with certain types of visas who wish to travel outside the U.S. to a nearby country for a short period of time while their visa is expiring. 

Visa revalidation becomes necessary when the person’s visa has expired, but the time period for their permission to stay in the United States is still valid so that they still have a valid U.S. status.  Typically, the visa has expired while the person was traveling outside the United States, but visa revalidation will allow them to legally re-enter the U.S. again under the same status.

Visa revalidation is different from both a nonimmigrant visa extension and filing for a new visa.  Filing for a visa revalidation is a much more streamlined process. The revalidation is automatically granted and is only available under very limited circumstances.  In addition, filing for a new visa or a visa extension may disqualify the person from being eligible for a visa revalidation.

What Are the Benefits of Visa Revalidation?

There are several benefits to getting your visa revalidated.  First, visa revalidation allows you to renew your visa expiration date without the risk of being denied a new visa.  It allows you to re-enter the country and will allow you to use the remainder of your allotted period for staying temporarily in the United States.

Also, visa revalidation is faster and much less expensive than having your visa re-extended or applying for an entirely new visa. 

Who Is Eligible for a Visa Revalidation?

Not everyone is eligible for a visa revalidation.  In order to be eligible, you must meet several requirements.  In general, you must:

  • Have a valid immigration status
  • Have a valid passport that will not expire for at least 6 months
  • Have an original visa that is either valid for less than 60 days or has expired within the last twelve months

The visa revalidation can be obtained by filing through the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C.  You can also apply for the revalidation through the U.S. Consulate office where you first obtained your visa.  Revalidation is only available for certain visa classes.   

Lastly, certain factors may disqualify an applicant from getting their visa revalidated.  For example, if you obtained your visa through the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, or if you have traveled to certain countries while your visa expired, you may not be eligible for a revalidation.  You may wish to consult with a lawyer to determine if any disqualifying factors apply to you.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Visa Revalidation?

Obtaining a visa revalidation is a very important option for those who will be traveling outside the U.S. during a temporary stay.  You may wish to consult with an immigration lawyer to determine if visa revalidation is available for you.  An immigration attorney can also explain what alternatives options you might have.  It is preferable to consult with a lawyer before you travel outside the U.S., to ensure that you will be able to re-enter the U.S. without any unforeseen issues.