What were the benefits of a Third Country Visa?

Re-entry into the U.S.

Most non-immigrants who have left the U.S. need visas to re-enter the U.S. after their travels abroad with the exception of Mexico and Canada. If an alien does not have a valid visa and travels abroad, he/she must apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad to return to the U.S. By not having a valid visa, he/she faces the potential risk of having his/her visa application rejected.

A Third Country Visa was designed to eliminate this risk. Based on the federal regulation(22 CFR 41.112(d)), an alien, even without a valid visa, can re-enter the U.S. within 30 days after his trip to Mexico or Canada, as long as the alien has a valid I-94 form at the time of entry.

However, beginning on April 1, 2002, according to the new Interim Rule adopted by the US Department of State, the Third Country Visa applicants are no longer eligible for the benefits of the above-mentioned rule. Namely, an alien may still apply for a non-immigrant visa with a US consulate located in Mexico or Canada. But if he/she cannot obtain the visa, he/she may not re-enter the US even he/she has a valid I-94 form at the time of entry and stays in Mexico or Canada within 30 days. In this end, there is no major advantage in applying for the Third Country Visa compared to the visa application at the US consulates in the alien's home country, because the Third Country Visa applicant may face the same risk when he/she applies for the visa in his/herhome country.

Therefore, we hereby strongly recommend that you evaluate your situation carefully before you go for the Third Country Visa processing and the importance of an experienced attorney's role in the Third Country Visa processing can never be overemphasized at this stage.

We offer professional services in the Third Country Visa application to help qualified aliens to apply. For more information on our Third Country Visa services, please click here.

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