any recent experiences on coming back on automatic revalidation from Canada ?


Recommended Posts

  • 5 months later...

I had the following experience in May of 2017. I am an F1 student and my visa had expired. I went to Vancouver for 5 days. I flew into Vancouver with American Airlines. On the day of my flight home, I arrived at the airport to check in. The computer system for AA would not let me check in as it asks to scan my passport and visa. It noticed that the visa was expired. I explained that I intended to use automatic visa revalidation to the staff but they had never heard of it and would not budge. They said that the system simply could not let me check in without a valid (unexpired) visa. 

Perhaps because it was 6am, I had no energy to fight them and I gave in. So I had no choice but to apply for ESTA. As an Australian citizen, I could apply for ESTA right there in the terminal on my phone and it was approved. So after about 10min I was in the ESTA system and could check in to the flight. You pass through US immigration at Vancouver airport. I didn't even mention the ESTA thing to the immigration office, just told him I was using automatic visa revalidation. There was absolutely no trouble with him and he let me through with my F1 visa.

So the odd thing is this: the immigration officer knew about automatic visa revalidation, but the airline didn't!

I urge you: if you plan to do this, contact your airline and make sure they know about it. Apparently AA does not, so I have little hope for the other airlines. Perhaps a border crossing would be easier, as there is no flights... Perhaps if you are more insistent you can convince the check-in staff to let you check in. But who needs that sort of confrontation? I don't like conflict, especially at an airport. 

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.