US Visa Stamping in Mexico or Canada

Anil Gupta  21 Feb, 19      14  USA Work in USA - H1B, L Visa

Any third country national (TCN) like India, China citizens residing in the United States can apply for a non-immigrant visa in Canada or Mexico except B1/B2 and H2.

First Time H1B stamping in Canada or Mexico?

Both Canada and Mexico US embassy allow first time H1B stamping for third country nationals like India, China etc.

Read the first time H1B stamping done by our guest at Nogales, Mexico.

H1B Renewal Stamping in Canada or Mexico

Both Canada and Mexico allow H1B renewal stamping including H1B Amendment, Transfer or extensions. H1B Stamping Document Checklist.

H1B to H4 COS Visa stamping in Mexico or Canada

You can go for H1B to H4 stamping in Mexico or Canada if you are currently on H1B visa residing and working in USA.

Related: i94 Extension Laredo TX US Mexico Border – Bridge 1 experience

F1 to H4 or H1B Visa Stamping in Mexico

F1 Category (class of visa) change to H4 or H1B is not allowed for visa stamping in Mexico. 

Mexico allows US visa to enter their country. No separate Mexico visa is needed.

Example: If you are currently on F1 visa and want to change your status to H4, you cannot go to Mexico to get your H4 stamped. You should visit your home country.

F1 to H4 or H1B Visa Stamping in Canada

Canada allows F1 to H4 or H1B category change stamping in US embassy. You would need Canada’s visitor visa (or if you have other type of Canadian visa) to enter Canada.

‘Out of Status’ Visa Stamping Not Allowed

If you have been out of status in the USA because you violated the terms of your current visa like H1B or overstayed the validity printed on your I-94, then you are not eligible to apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Canada or Mexico as a citizen of any other country.

You must for visa stamping in your home country i.e. nationality or passport.

You can prove your legal status using your current i797 approval notice or EAD card or renewed i94.

Expired Visa Stamp, Want to Revalidate with new i797 approval?

If you plan to visit Canada or Mexico and want to re-enter USA within 30 days on expired visa, you can enter as long as you have a valid I-94 using automatic Re-validation process.

Related: i94 Extension after Passport Renewal in USA

US visa stamping in Mexico Canada
US visa stamping in Mexico Canada

US Visa Stamping Embassy in Canada

  • Calgary
  • Halifax
  • Montreal
  • Ottawa
  • Quebec City
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver

US Visa Stamping Embassy in Mexico

  • Ciudad Juarez
  • Guadalajara
  • Hermosillo
  • Matamoros
  • Merida
  • Mexico City
  • Monterrey
  • Nogales
  • Nuevo Laredo
  • Tijuana


Official US Embassy Mexico guidance for Non Mexico Citizens

   Read all 14 Q & A

  1. Keertana Rao   19 Feb, 19 at 11:48 pm

    Hello Anil
    We have h1b renewal and h4 stamping to do.we were planning to go brazil in may for vacation and stamping. though we dont know anyone who has got it stamped there,the consulate replied to our mail saying they provide the service but cannot guarantee. I was wondering if you know anyone who has been there for stamping?
    or suggest a consulate in mexico/Canada that is known to deliver it the quickest so we can go there on our way back before entering the US?
    Thank you

    • Anil Gupta   20 Feb, 19 at 6:38 am

      You can go to Nogales, Mexico for H1B and H4 stamping on your way to Brazil. Almost all US embassies have the same processing time as per my opinion.
      Most people prefer Vancouver in Canada.

  2. Hello Anil

    My wife entered at H4. Then there was COS to F1 and again COS to H4. H4COS is still pending and she has been out of status for around 170 days. Can she go to Mexico for Visa stamping ?


    • Anil Gupta   13 Feb, 19 at 3:39 pm

      A general advice: when you ask a question, give as much details as possible to help understand the situation after reading the article.

      You have not told anything About stamped visa, nothing about i94.
      How can i answer?

      • I am sorry…

        My wife entered USA in December 2015 on H4 visa that was stamped in India. The visa expired December 2017. The I94 was valid until Aug 21, 2018. After entering, she went for MS and did COS to F1 while studying. She got a new I-94 attached starting August 2016 to duration of status. Last year, she filed for COS back to H4 while maintaining F1 status. The H4 COS is pending with VSC since then. She is not working and not in valid F1 status anymore. The I539 application decision is still pending and It is around 170 days. She is out of status but in authorized stay

        I was thinking if she can travel to Mexico (Tijuana) or Canada (Vancouver) consulates for H4 visa stamping. She has all the documents as mentioned along with my extended H1b (valid until Aug, 2021). Can you comment if she is applicable for H4 stamping or should we go to home country only?

        If you need specific info, please reply.


        • Anil Gupta   13 Feb, 19 at 5:10 pm

          What is the expiry on current (most recent) i94 show?

          • I-94 during H4 entry expired on aug, 2018. The new I-94 after COS to F1 has no expiry date. It says duration of status.

            • Anil Gupta   13 Feb, 19 at 5:31 pm

              This is a bit of gray area as she is not maintaining her F1 status. So, she is legally in ‘period of authorized stay’.
              I think she can apply for H4 stamping in Canada. Mexico might be a bit risky.

            • Thanks Anil. We are planning to go there, Do you have any inputs on processing wait times for 221(g) for canada (say vancouver)?

            • Anil Gupta   13 Feb, 19 at 9:07 pm

              There is no fixed timeline for form 221(g) processing. Whatever you read or see online varies case by case. So, if you get form 221g, it depends on what documents they have requested from you.

  3. anand satya   9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

    Hello Anil,

    Can I go to mexico for my first H1B stamping?
    I am currently on H4 and I got my H1B approval recently.

    I was checking few websites and they were saying only renewals are allowed in Mexico.
    Is this true?

    • Anil Gupta   9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

      First time H1B stamping is not allowed in Mexico.
      You can go to either Canada or Home country.

  4. Hello Anil,

    My H1B visa got approved recently. can i get my stamping done in Canada or Mexico under drop box, as my current visa expired within 1 year ? As there are lot of cases going under administrative processing in India,
    is it happening in Canada or Mexico also for TCN?
    what is a good option as per current trends ? Any suggestion, Thanks!

    • Anil Gupta   26 Oct, 18 at 3:34 pm

      You do not need stamping unless you have to go out of USA.

      You can go anywhere like Mexico or Canada. There are more admin processing issued in India than other countries offcourse all the time simply because there are more applicants back there.

      Nobody can guess who will get admin processing in India or not. If your paperwork is fine, you should be okay to get stamping easily anywhere.