Soft-landing and AVR

Yes, that’s correct and that’s when AVR comes into play.

“Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.”

How did you get an unexpired admission stamp or a Valid Paper form I94 in the first place with an expired visa ?
Do they issue I94s based on I797 ?

And even on my latest entry back in to the US from Canada, the validity date of the admission stamp was for the expiry date of my visa and not based on my new I797

You need a passport with the previously expired VISA stamp, new I-797 with I-94 at the bottom; carry company reference letter, and last 6 months of salary slip.
Now, most of these documents apart from passport and I-797 might not be required.


Thank you @akel. The forms do not say that they are goods accompanying or goods to follow. So I guess BSF186 is the GTA and BSF-186A is the GTF. Do we have to update only our goods and the rest fields will be taken care by CBP? There are many fields which they ask where I might not have any details!! E.g. Classification type! As after soft landing we would be moving permanently in the future. Which Classification type option should I select?

Also should the GTA or GTF list be detailed? I mean with serial number, photographs etc?

@RIVAL - I don’t think there’re separate forms for accompanying goods and goods to follow. It’s possibly the same form.
BSF-186A is just an extension of BSF-186, to be used if you have too many items to import.

Frankly, I doubt if they worry about your personal items. The officer told me that they don’t care if you are bringing a laptop that’s for your personal use. They would worry however, if you bring boxes of laptops saying they belong to you. The officer also mentioned that they don’t care too much about 1-2K USD worth of personal electronic goods. If you are planning to bring some high-value items worth 5-10K USD, that’s the one you should be careful.

Thank you!! Is there a list of things which are expensive in Canada which one should buy from the US before moving?

Also @nik you said you were given a yellow slip/paper when you were returning back to US thru AVR. What did the paper say and why was it given? As per the AVR process which I read in previous posts, the folks did not even exit their car. The office checked the passport and i797 and allowed to re-enter US!

Yup, you are right. I think agents don’t have an explicit process to follow in such cases and it comes down to the judgement of the specific agent handling your passport. My agent decided that I should get in the building, pay USD 6 and get a paper i94 stapled on my passport (even though it was clearly present at the bottom of my i797). So, that’s it. I am just happy to be able to come back and about the fact that it went according to the plan!

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