Travel to Canada

Canada is a popular travel destination for many UMMS international students and employees due to its close proximity to the Worcester area.  Although travel to Canada may be easier and cheaper than many destinations, as a non-immigrant in the United Status, you must still carry all documents recommended for travel outside the United States. 

Recommended travel documents - Canadian Entry Visa Stamp - Entry to Canada - Re-Entry to the United States

Canadian Entry Visa Stamp

Consult the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to determine if you need a Canadian visa stamp to enter Canada. Citizens whose countries are not on this list do not need Canadian visa stamps.  If required, you can apply for a Canadian tourist visa stamp at the Canadian Consulate in New York City or Buffalo, NY. Please check their websites or call them for specifics on the application process. In many cases, you can get your Candadian visa stamp on the same day, but for some countries there is a waiting period of up to 15 days. Immigration Services cannot provide assistance in obtaining a Canadian entry visa.

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Entry to Canada

Check your passport and United States immigration documents prior to travel to ensure that your documents are valid beyond the date of your intended return to the United States and that you have any required signatures where applicable.    Your Form I-94 -Arrival Departure Record (small white card stapled into your passport upon entry to the United States) is REQUIRED for entry into Canada and for return to the United States. The Form I-94 must also be valid beyond the date on which you will seek re-admission to the United States.

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Re-Entry to the United States

While entry from most countries requires a valid visa stamp in the appropriate immigration category, some individuals may be eligible to re-enter the United States from Canada without a valid visa stamp (if your visa stamp has expired or if you have changed your immigration status since your last entry.  This is called automatic visa revalidation and is only allowable if ALL of the following conditions are true:

  • You are in J-1, F-1, H-1, or B-1 (others may be eligible)
  • Your visit to Canada will not exceed 30 days and you will return directly to the United States from Canada
  • You have a valid passport and immigration documents valid beyond the date of re-entry with applicable signatures
  • You have NOT applied for a visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Canada during your visit.  If you have applied for a visa and are waiting for a response or your application has been denied, you may NOT reenter under this program. You must enter on a newly issued visa or leave Canada and reenter the United States after seeking a U.S. entry visa stamp from your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence.
  • You are NOT a citizen or legal permanent resident of, or born in, a country designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism (currently Cuba, Iran, Sudan & Syria).

If your U.S. entry visa has expired and you are traveling to Canada for a visit of more than 30 days, you will need to get a new U.S. visa stamp while in Canada.  In addition, if you plan to apply for a U.S. entry visa stamp in Canada (even if you are there for less than 30 days), you will not be eligible to enter without a valid U.S. visa entry stamp (per the conditions of Automatic Visa Revalidation listed above).  Please see the Department of State website for information about applying for a United States visa stamp in Canada.  Additional pointers for making an application for a U.S. visa stamp (includes information specific to Canada).

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