H1-B Travel Questions
- Can I travel outside of the US and reenter in H1-B status?
- H-1B workers often need to travel abroad for business or pleasure. It is not difficult to reenter the United States provided certain conditions are met:
- Documentation needed when traveling abroad: H-1B workers who travel abroad should carry the original H-1B approval notice for their current employer. Although the Form I-797 approval notice states that the employer should retain the top portion of the form, there have been reports that consular and immigration inspectors often request to see the original. A current letter from the employer verifying employment, although not necessary, can also serve to facilitate reentry, as will a copy of the H-1B petition.
- Visa requirements for reentry in H-1B status: An H-1B worker who is not visa exempt must have a valid H-1B visa to re-enter the United States after a trip abroad.
- Exception for travel to Canada or Mexico for 30 days or less: Under the “automatic extension of validity at port-of-entry” provisions, an H-B alien may reenter the United States after a trip solely to Canada or Mexico that lasted no more than 30 days, without the need to obtain a new H-1B visa, even if the individual’s prior H-1B visa has expired.