Travel to Canada and back with AVR

Hello all,

Has anyone travelled to Canada to activate their PRs via road and returned to the US with AVR recently?

We’re in the northwest. So, planning to take the road to Vancouver, BC. Our visas have expired recently and we have our valid I-94s – so will be looking to use AVR to come back to US.

With the travel bans flying around everywhere, does anyone know what the most recent status is on H1Bs returning back to US from Canada? Are we allowed to come back using AVR?

Hello! I did this in May. Technically H1Bs are considered essential in the context of US re-entry and you are allowed to re enter using AVR. I think the same applies for H4s as well.

Oh yay! Fantastic. So, you did use AVR successfully? Has anyone in your knowledge used AVR for H4?

@glow , along the same lines, would AVR be applicable for an H-4 application that’s under process? My spouse’s dependent H-4 application is under processing, so we are wondering on different options if were to travel to Canada and come back to the U.S. after a few days.

Alternatively, is it suggested to look for consular processing by interviewing at a U.S. consulate in Canada for the H-4 visa stamping?

@j9lad i had contacted CBP over their online help tool.

Here’s their response via email:

In order to qualify for revalidation you must meet the following criteria:

Readmission from a contiguous territory (Canada or Mexico)
Readmission after an absence not exceeding 30 days.
Be in possession of a valid passport
Be in possession of a valid I-94 which must show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay. I-94 could be the one provided upon enter or tear-off on I-797 Notice of Action granting extension of stay.

For more information please access: DOS:


We might just have to call them and ask if the way we’re reading it is correct. They way I read this is that all H category should be fine as long as you have a valid i797 among other things.

Hello @ameha ! I used AVR to re enter USA. The officer just asked for my passport with expired visa and my i797 with my i94. I was able to do this with just a month left on my i797. However, i was told very clearly by my employer (and confirmed it through research) that it is not advised to cross the border while your H1B application/renewal is being processed. @j9lad , I think the same may apply for H4. Also keep in mind that you may not have immediate appointments for H4 stamping at US embassies in Canada at the moment. It is possible that your spouse might be stuck in Canada until their H4 petition is processed.

If you are worried about your COPR being expired and if you are the principal applicant, it is easier if you land first. your spouse can land when their H4 is approved using AVR.

Thanks glow. This is interesting. Is there any official US government webpage that says H1B’s/H4 are allowed to cross into the US from Canada by land? The land border is officially closed till Aug 21 for non-US citizens and non permanent residents, with some exceptions, AFAIK.

Not sure about webpage, but definitely sure about work visas because Work comes under essential travel.