Major goofup at the border!!

logicators

Registered Users (C)
This is BAD!

Is there any way to get an official verification of weather AVR is still valid or not?

logicators
 

vault

Registered Users (C)
Re: This is BAD!

Originally posted by logicators
Is there any way to get an official verification of weather AVR is still valid or not?

logicators

When I called the State Department, I was told that I need to have a Visa Stamp. But GINNU had posted the links to the AVR. II sent 3 e-mails to the State Department, referenceing my call and the links and they have not replied back.
 

logicators

Registered Users (C)
Re: Re: This is BAD!

Hmmm. Is there anyone with links in AILA? Maybe they can help us out.

logicators

Originally posted by vault
When I called the State Department, I was told that I need to have a Visa Stamp. But GINNU had posted the links to the AVR. II sent 3 e-mails to the State Department, referenceing my call and the links and they have not replied back.
 

muntasir

Registered Users (C)
30 days revalidation worked but Caution

As I was part of this discussion group and had promised to post my experience after traveling to Canada, here it goes:

The scenario is that I am trying to use 30 days revalidation rule:

When I went to Canada, there was no problem. At Toronto airport, while coming back, the immigration office told me that I can not go back to USA based on my H1B status and expired student Visa. He had given me a leaflet saying any canadian resident will require visa to go to USA. I tried to explain him that I have a status in USA and I came to Canada only days ago. He then typed something on the computer for 5 minutes and took me to the waiting room for USA immigration. He told me that somebody will explain me saying why I need the visa.

After one anxious hour, one guy came and asked me to see him. I explained that I am trying to exercise the 30 days revalidation rule. He seems to be knowing the rule and said go outside and wait. Then again after half an hour he called me in his room and interviewed me for few minutes. Asked me what I do, where did I go school, am I canadian resident and all sorts of things. He also asked me why I did not apply for the visa. I told him that I am from a SR country and it takes at least 3 weeks to get the Visa. And I dont have that much of vacation to spare.


Then suddenly he stamped my boarding pass and said you are all set. i had only 10 minutes for my flight and I literraly fly through everybody to catch my flight. Interesting thing is they knew when my flight is but still they did not let me get out of that place till the last minute. Anyway I had my AP to use if they did not let me use 30 days revalidation rule. I did not want to use AP as it might invalidate my H1B even though I am working with the same employer. I was pretty scared that they may not have let me in even using AP once they do not let me exercise 30 days revalidation rule.

Anyway the lesson is, if you insists that 30 days revalidation rule still exists and you have not applied for a visa in Canada, then somebody will let you come through. But be ready to be hassled. And probably best idea is to have a backup like AP. I will need to visit Canada again if I get called for the PR card (not sure as I never lived there from 2000). I will try to use the same method but will probably go to the airport at least 3.5 hours before the flight.

Hope this helps to people who are planning to visit Canada soon. I remember it did not work for Vault. Some may get lucky and some may not. Whatever it is, lets post the experiences and learn from those.

muntasir
 

muntasir

Registered Users (C)
30 days revalidation worked but Caution

As I was part of this discussion group and had promised to post my experience after traveling to Canada, here it goes:

The scenario is that I am trying to use 30 days revalidation rule:

When I went to Canada, there was no problem. At Toronto airport, while coming back, the immigration office told me that I can not go back to USA based on my H1B status and expired student Visa. He had given me a leaflet saying any canadian resident will require visa to go to USA. I tried to explain him that I have a status in USA and I came to Canada only days ago. He then typed something on the computer for 5 minutes and took me to the waiting room for USA immigration. He told me that somebody will explain me saying why I need the visa.

After one anxious hour, one guy came and asked me to see him. I explained that I am trying to exercise the 30 days revalidation rule. He seems to be knowing the rule and said go outside and wait. Then again after half an hour he called me in his room and interviewed me for few minutes. Asked me what I do, where did I go school, am I canadian resident and all sorts of things. He also asked me why I did not apply for the visa. I told him that I am from a SR country and it takes at least 3 weeks to get the Visa. And I dont have that much of vacation to spare.


Then suddenly he stamped my boarding pass and said you are all set. i had only 10 minutes for my flight and I literraly fly through everybody to catch my flight. Interesting thing is they knew when my flight is but still they did not let me get out of that place till the last minute. Anyway I had my AP to use if they did not let me use 30 days revalidation rule. I did not want to use AP as it might invalidate my H1B even though I am working with the same employer. I was pretty scared that they may not have let me in even using AP once they do not let me exercise 30 days revalidation rule.

Anyway the lesson is, if you insists that 30 days revalidation rule still exists and you have not applied for a visa in Canada, then somebody will let you come through. But be ready to be hassled. And probably best idea is to have a backup like AP. I will need to visit Canada again if I get called for the PR card (not sure as I never lived there from 2000). I will try to use the same method but will probably go to the airport at least 3.5 hours before the flight.

Hope this helps to people who are planning to visit Canada soon. I remember it did not work for Vault. Some may get lucky and some may not. Whatever it is, lets post the experiences and learn from those.

muntasir
 

Tintin22

Registered Users (C)
Muntasir:

Thank you for sharing your experience. It is frustrating that some of the immigration inspectors don't even know the rules and regulations they are supposed to enforce and follow.

I too am in a similar situaton as yourself. I am from a special registration country and need to travel to Canada. I have an expired F-1 visa but a valid H-1/I-94. I am however not a permanent resident of Canada, and will use my Canadian visa to enter Canada.

Can you tell me if you had to go through the whole special registration process (fingerprinting and all) when you came back to the U.S? Also when you left, did you have to report your departure with immigration at the airport? I suspect that you were subject to greater scrutiny (or harassment) at the airport because you were from an SR country. Your thoughts would be appreciated
 

muntasir

Registered Users (C)
Tintin22:

Before you leave USA, You need to meet the immigration office at the designated port to complete your departure procedure. The immigration officer will stamp your passport saying "Departure recorded" or something like that. You must have to do this if you want to enter back USA. To take advantage of 30 days revaliadtaion rule, do not give your I-94 away. The airplane authority asked me how long I will be there in Canada. I said 5 days and they never kept my I-94. Sad that in Chicago the immigration officer told me to give my I-94 but I refused also. One of the immigration officer knew that I dont have to give it away if I am coming back within 30 days.

Once you come back to USA, you dont have to go through any of these process. My plane landed at the domestic terminal and i came out like I was visting other part of the country. As I said, be ready to be hasseled and unlesss it is absolutely necessary do not leave this country. If you leave, be ready to apply for visa in Canada or in your home country.

Best of luck
 

sawill

Registered Users (C)
Originally posted by muntasir
Tintin22:

Before you leave USA, You need to meet the immigration office at the designated port to complete your departure procedure. The immigration officer will stamp your passport saying "Departure recorded" or something like that. You must have to do this if you want to enter back USA. To take advantage of 30 days revaliadtaion rule, do not give your I-94 away. The airplane authority asked me how long I will be there in Canada. I said 5 days and they never kept my I-94. Sad that in Chicago the immigration officer told me to give my I-94 but I refused also. One of the immigration officer knew that I dont have to give it away if I am coming back within 30 days.

Once you come back to USA, you dont have to go through any of these process. My plane landed at the domestic terminal and i came out like I was visting other part of the country. As I said, be ready to be hasseled and unlesss it is absolutely necessary do not leave this country. If you leave, be ready to apply for visa in Canada or in your home country.

Best of luck


Muntasir,
thank you for sharing your experience about AVR. Would you please also tell us

* You mentioned that you didnt have problem entering Canada.. did canadian immigration see your valid I94 & old H1 Visa didnt they ask any question about it ?

* Being a national from SR country, when you were returning to US, were you not asked by us imm, to report to nearest district office for 30 day SR process ? which is required for SR nationals ? I know people entered USA by land from canada, few months ago, gone thru SR at the border and then were asked to report INS/BCIS for 30th day SR process.

I also wonder why, when US imm were checking your records at toronto airport why it was not revealed to them that you also had AP at that time...

thanks
 

muntasir

Registered Users (C)
* You mentioned that you didnt have problem entering Canada.. did canadian immigration see your valid I94 & old H1 Visa didnt they ask any question about it ?

- I had shown my IMM-1000 to them. The immigration guy asked me when did i GO TO USA and what was my purpose to visit USA. That's it. As a resident you can now stay outside of Canada for 3 years out of every 5 years.


* Being a national from SR country, when you were returning to US, were you not asked by us imm, to report to nearest district office for 30 day SR process ? which is required for SR nationals ? I know people entered USA by land from canada, few months ago, gone thru SR at the border and then were asked to report INS/BCIS for 30th day SR process.

I have not seen any memo or have not heard from anybody saying I have to go to report to the nearest INS once I enter back to USA. all the memo talks about reporting before leaving USA. Have u seen any memo saying you need to report after you enter back to USA?


I also wonder why, when US imm were checking your records at toronto airport why it was not revealed to them that you also had AP at that time...

A mystery to me too. The immigration just asked me why i did not apply for a visa though. I guess Canada is really not considered as departure if you are gone for such a short time.

Hope this helps.
 

Tintin22

Registered Users (C)
Muntasir:

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Whether you need to report to the BCIS after 30 days is something you should confirm by calling--or better yet going to-the local BCIS office. The rules are unclear on this (see pg 7 of http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/shared/lawenfor/specialreg/CALL_IN_ALL.pdf

I think you don't have to register again. If you did, you should have been told by the inspectors at the Toronto airport. But given that the inspectors at the Toronto airport were so incompetant, they may have conveniently "forgotten" to tell you that. When I registered I was told that I would need to register everytime I travelled and came back to the U.S. and then also report to the BCIS 30 days later

So to be safe, I recommend you check with BCIS.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sawill

Registered Users (C)
Originally posted by muntasir
* You mentioned that you didnt have problem entering Canada.. did canadian immigration see your valid I94 & old H1 Visa didnt they ask any question about it ?

- I had shown my IMM-1000 to them. The immigration guy asked me when did i GO TO USA and what was my purpose to visit USA. That's it. As a resident you can now stay outside of Canada for 3 years out of every 5 years.


* Being a national from SR country, when you were returning to US, were you not asked by us imm, to report to nearest district office for 30 day SR process ? which is required for SR nationals ? I know people entered USA by land from canada, few months ago, gone thru SR at the border and then were asked to report INS/BCIS for 30th day SR process.

I have not seen any memo or have not heard from anybody saying I have to go to report to the nearest INS once I enter back to USA. all the memo talks about reporting before leaving USA. Have u seen any memo saying you need to report after you enter back to USA?


I also wonder why, when US imm were checking your records at toronto airport why it was not revealed to them that you also had AP at that time...

A mystery to me too. The immigration just asked me why i did not apply for a visa though. I guess Canada is really not considered as departure if you are gone for such a short time.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for quick reply, I appreciate.

Well if you check out the documentation which was provided to you when you went for SR process, or search sr process docs on BCIS websites that clearly says that all SR guys (age 16-45) have to report to local district office for 30 day SR process (and then for 1 year SR, afterwards) after arrival, IF inspector at the POE determines that you are required to report. One of my friend was asked for that while he entered into US via Niagara fialls, last dec. Anyway I think, may be, they are not asking everybody for that 30day sr process anymore.

one more thing if I am not wrong or forgetting.. for AVR rule to work you also need to have expired visa in the same class ? but you had F1 expired visa but not H1B visa..
Anyway count yourself very lucky...
 

muntasir

Registered Users (C)
The immigration officer never told me to go and report. And from the memo it seems only if you are asked to report, then you report unless you are citizen of those 5 countries. I was photographed and fingerprinted when I was leaving USA. Anyway I consider myself lucky that I could use 30 days revalidation rule being a citizen of SR country.

I have a valid visa (F1 ) till 2004 but I have changed my status to H1B now. I dont think to exercise 30 days rule you have to have a expired visa in the same status. At least I did not need it. But as always I advise everybody not to take a chance. I took a chance and it worked. but I had back up lined up which would have eventually worked.

Thanks Tintin for your tips. I will call Local INS office here tomorrow to check that.
 

Tintin22

Registered Users (C)
*one more thing if I am not wrong or forgetting.. for AVR rule to work you also need to have expired visa in the same class ? but you had F1 expired visa but not H1B visa.. *


Not true. Look at http://travel.state.gov/state50158.html

and in particular 2(1)(ii) which says:

"(ii) In cases where the original nonimmigrant classification of an alien has been changed by BCIS to another nonimmigrant classification, the validity of an expired or unexpired nonimmigrant visa may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of application for readmission, and the visa may be converted as necessary to that changed classification."

so you can have an expired F-1 and have changed your status to H-1 for AVR to work.
 

sawill

Registered Users (C)
Tintin22
thanks for the correction. I stand corrected :)
And I agree with you,
Muntasir you should call or visit BCIS to confirm about that 30 day SR it is quite necessary as you are still in non imm status, if you were parolled into the US then it wud have not been necessary.
 

khi_boy

Registered Users (C)
SR - and automatic revalidation

Muntasir,

There is a problem what i see here. You are still in H1B status , Special registration is a Volunteer process. The Burden is ON you not on INS (BCIS).

1st problem I see here is, that you should have done the Special Registration in US Immigration Canada when coming to USA . Since you didn't do that , i not sure about 30 days reporting thing now because they cross check your ENTRY Record when you appear for 30 days interview. What i feel is US INS has Recorded your DEPARTURE but your ENTRY is not RECORDED at all. You should go to BCIS ASAP and tell them the story.

My friend was coming from SFO and competitve INS officer "forgot" to ask him for Special Registration. Should my friend forget too about SR, he may get into troble. Officer told him "you can go". My friend said , Sir , I need to do SR and then he said Oh Yes and he redirected him to SR registration process.

In 30 days revalidation "Departure was usually not recorded" . But since you are a SR (like me) , our departure is recorded and the burden is ON us now to get our Entry recorded too.

Since you have your Landing stamp is toronto , you should go and show this to BCIS

I really wish you best of luck and tell us your experience

(ABOVE IS ALL MY PERSONAL OPINION)

thx
Khi_boy
 

khi_boy

Registered Users (C)
Yes - 30 days reporting is MUST

Yes - 30-40 days SR reporting is MUST for Visit to Canada/Mexico. Its clearly specified at bcis website.
 

muntasir

Registered Users (C)
Please refer to the page 10 of the following document:

http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/shared/lawenfor/specialreg/allspecialregister.pdf


The document clearly says that if you are citizen of 5 designated countries then you should go for the registration every time you come in.

Other clause says that if you get selected when you re-enter, then you need to go for the special registration procedure.

First of all I am not from thOe 5 countries, secondly I was not selected at the port of entry. The immigration office was pretty polite with me when he came to knew that I have done my Master's here and now working for a consulting company. He saw my license and asked me few questions which he entered in the computer. Even though my passport was not stamped, my boarding card was stamped saying Arrival in USA. I believe I dont have to go for registration. But from the vaulable forum, everybody is providing me with suggestion that I should do that as burden is on me. I will definitely call the Local INS office tomorrow and find out whether I need to go for the registration. I will update what is going on. I am kind of reluctant in doing this as it will cost me almost the entire day of my work. But thank you all for your suggestions.
 

khi_boy

Registered Users (C)
Muntasir , I am in same boat too

Muntasir,

I am from Pakistan with 485 pending. In same boat like you. I am flying to Vancouver day after tommorow. I have AP and H1B extension (stamp on passport expired). Using H1b is defintely a beneficial thing with a pending 485 but I am planning to use my AP to avoid special registration and grey area of automatic revalidation /SR combination while re-entering USA.

I really liked that you used Automatic revalidation but if you could provide me some more info and clarity from INS that whether your ENTRY was recorded , that would be really beneficial.

If you are not issued a new I94 , I am under an impression that your entry is not recorded.


thx
khi_boy
 
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