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!

1 Like

Hi, I’m planning to do soft landing in Canada from US. I have valid visa to return back to US. But my question is how do you enter back to Canada as you wouldn’t have the PR card with you right? Can the PR card be sent through FedEx or any courier by the person receiving it for you in Canada? I’m mostly planning to drive to Canada for soft landing as well as final move. Please advise on the steps to be followed for the landing. Thanks

CoPR document is good enough if you are planning to get into Canada via road. You need PR card only if you are using airports to enter.

Not sure about landing at border while driving (I think there are posts about that on movnorth or on

You need a PR card if you are using any public transport (bus, taxi, train, flights etc).

If you are driving into Canada from US, then CoPR is good enough, if you are driving your own vehicle, or a rented vehicle. (I’m not sure if driving someone else’s vehicle is allowed).

I crossed once in rented car, not questions about car.

I received the PR cards personally so I’m not sure about mailing the PR cards (I believe many have got it mailed with no issues).

or apply for PRTD if you dont plan to drive across the border.

That’s right. As long as there’s enough time to get one, PRTD is a good option.

We are planning to do a soft landing via flight from US and gonna say we are moving for good to Canada immigration officer to avoid the risk of non processing of the PR card. How does the “travel plans” form looks like and what needs to be filled in the “Canada travel plans in the immigration document”. Can someone shed more light on this. Apologize if this was already answered, couldnt find the link, there was a thread of Soft landing via Road but not Air.

@mercuryman am not familiar with the form you are referring to. I did my soft landing by air, and didn’t come across this. Can you elaborate on where you found this form/info?

If you are already booked on a return flight to the US in a few days, wouldn’t the immigration officer find out you are not moving permanently?

@ashpdx – I found in one of the threads here,

There it said we need to disclose the travel plans in some form, to the immigration official, so was confused.

@am1 - Do we need to show them our boarding passes to the immigration officer? What if we get 2 one way tickets. How exactly they would know.

I am not sure what document it refers to, maybe others can comment on it. I only needed COPR, Passport and GTF during first landing.
@Mentioning that you are moving right away-
It’s not recommended to misrepresent since they can make a note of it and look it up next time you re-enter (they keep track of entries and exits similar to US). They might not do it in every case, but its a risk if you misrepresent. So, its totally your call.

Not sure if you would have to show your boarding pass or not; my intend was to caution you against misrepresentation.


I’m planning to soft land through Peace Arch bridge NY border crossing in July. I plan to use AVR since my H1B stamp expired on my passport. Last year in Apr 2020, I booked a visa appointment In India and cancelled it due to covid restrictions. Haven’t travelled outside the US since then. Will I still be able to use AVR option. Please help.

Thank you