H-1B Travel Questions
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.
H-1B Other Questions
H-1B workers are eligible to apply for a WV driver’s license. You will need the original I-797 Approval Notice which is kept on file in the Office of International Student Services. You may walk in during regular business hours to request and sign out the original I-797. To request an employment verification letter, contact Human Resources. If you are applying for a driver’s license, you will need to take a written exam and will also need to complete a driving test.
For more information, please go to http://local.dmv.org/west-virginia/cabell-county/huntington/dmv-office-locations.php.
H-4 Dependent Questions
H-4 dependents may study in the U.S., full- or part-time, but the duration of their stay is dependent on the H-1B’s period of stay. Dependents should weigh the benefits of changing their status to F-1 versus remaining in H-4 status. H-4 dependents are not subject to the F-1 requirements to pursue a full course of study, but there are NOT eligible for F-1 benefits such as on-campus employment and practical training.
To accept employment or receive compensation from any U.S. source, H-4 dependents must apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) by filing Form I-765.