Re-entry after travel outside the U.S. requires that your H-1B petition and H-1B visa stamp are valid and that you have the related supporting documentation to be allowed into the U.S. as an H-1B non-immigrant.  You will  need the items listed below. Travel while an H-1B petition is pending at USCIS may negatively affect the processing of the petition. Consult with EIS before making any travel plans and to ensure you have the proper documentation for re-entry.

H-1B employees who travel outside the U.S. must have the following documents for re-entry:

  • Original top portion of the H-1B Approval Notice (I-797) (This portion must be borrowed and checked out from EIS since it’s the employer’s and must be kept with your H-1B file)
  • Bottom Portion of the H-1B Approval Notice (your I-94 portion of the notice)
  • H-1B Petition Packet (copy of materials submitted to USCIS given to you from EIS)
  • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • Valid H-1B Visa Stamp in passport (except for most trips to Canada or Mexico for 30 days or less). If new visa stamp is needed see details on Getting a U.S. Visa Stamp. CANDIAN citizens are exempt from visa requirements.
  • A brief letter from EIS stating: you are in H-1B status; your salary (which must be at least the amount listed on the LCA in the H-1B petition); and that you will travel outside the U.S. and the date you are expected to return to work.
  • H-4 dependents traveling with you must also have a valid H-4 visa stamp and should carry copies of marriage certificate and dependents’ birth certificates, their admission is dependent on you.

If you need a new H-1B Visa Stamp, you must apply for it outside the U.S. at a U.S. Consulate preferably in your home country. The U.S. government discourages foreign nationals applying to consulates in third countries and doing so may result in significant delays in visa issuance. For more information see Getting a U.S. Visa Stamp.

When leaving the U.S., if your H-1B Visa Stamp has expired, you may need a transit visa to pass through countries where your plane will land on the way to your final destination. If you do not have a transit visa, and it is required, you will not be allowed to board the plane to leave the U.S.