Applying for a New US Visa in Canada
Even though international students may travel to Canada for stays of thirty (30) days or less and re-enter the United States on their expired U.S. visas (called the "automatic revalidation" benefit), some students use this trip as an opportunity to apply for a U.S. visa to facilitate future entries to the United States after travel abroad. Under the new rule, any non-immigrant who chooses to apply for a new visa while in Canada will no longer be eligible for the "automatic revalidation" benefit during the course of that trip, but will have to wait until the visa is approved in order to re-enter the United States. Thus, a non-immigrant foreign national who travels from the United States into Canada, applies for a new U.S. visa there, and whose application is denied, will be barred from re-entering the United States. It is essential for international students to understand the risks that are now involved in applying for a U.S. visa in Canada. You should be advised that there is a high visa denial rate at many of the U.S. visa issuing posts in Canada.
Generally, the most successful visa applications are those from individuals who are applying for a visa in a category that they have been issued previously, and who are continuing at the same school and in the same program for which the original visa was issued.
Official U.S. State Department information on obtaining a new visa in Canada is now posted at this web site. U.S. Consular offices are located in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, and Vancouver. Note that advance appointments are required at all U.S. visa issuing posts in Canada. To obtain an appointment, you should call 1-900-443-3131 or go online at www.nvars.com. A fee is charged for each appointment.
Always go to the SUNY Cobleskill Director of International Education, as you would before any trip abroad, to be sure that your visa documents are accurate, and that you have the required signature. You will also want the Director of International Education to prepare a letter certifying that you are an enrolled student and maintaining valid status. Some students may also need to apply for a Canadian tourist visa to enter Canada.
Like any U.S. visa interview, expect to show evidence that your ties to your home country are stronger than your ties to the U.S., that you have sufficient financial resources to support your studies and living expenses, and that you are maintaining satisfactory academic progress at SUNY Cobleskill. Thus, it is a good idea to have a copy of your SUNY Cobleskill official transcript with you. Also, be prepared to be asked why you are applying for a new visa in Canada rather than in your home country, why you have chosen your specific field of study, and how that field of study will be useful in your home country.