I have old issues Interpreter Releases going back to before 1981 when I left government service as an immigration prosecutor. I looked at our January 7, 2002, Interpreter Releases and read the Hernandez letter and it clearly limits its applicability to Canadian E-2’s under 8 C.F.R. sec. 212.1(l) because of the provisions of NAFTA. As you are not a Canadian national and your visa status is not an E classification, the automatic visa revalidation procedure is still available to you after a short trip to Canada or Mexico not exceeding 30 days, provided that you are otherwise admissible (e.g. no criminal grounds of inadmissibility.)
(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
It appears that the research of my colleague is correct. I repeated it too and agree that you will only be a able to use automatic revalidation on a short trip to either Mexico or Canada.
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