No travel on H1B to Other country

H1B visa holders sent back at Port of Entry. AVOID travel to India / Home country. What can you do to make your Case stronger at port of entry ?

In H1B Visa News by Kumar330 Comments

Article written in January, 2010.  The below information is for your reference only, it does not apply to current year visa conditions. You may read the comments section and Check out POE Tracker for current situation

One of the shocking news that I heard recently from my friends is few of the H1B visa holders were sent back to India at the port of entry. This article is about the incident and caution to avoid travel.

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Real incident : H1B holders sent back to India at Port of entry

This incident happened in the first week of January at the port of entry at Newark, NJ. At least five of the H1B holders who came in a plane from India were sent back home. I do not know info about all the victims, but one of them was working for a mid size Desi consulting company in US. As usual the person had a very good consulting job and was working  in US for a client. The person went to India, got H1B visa extension stamped and came to US with all the proper documentation to Newark. At the port of entry, the H1B holder was questioned by Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP Officer) and was sent back making the H1B holder sign I-275 form. There was no proper reason explained. It does not make any sense logically, but imagine in the person’s shoes and think of you answering to CBP officer. It is a very tough situation. Well, the reality is, you can never question the Visa officer or anyone who deals with immigration. It is exactly same as we going to visa stamping in India, the Visa officer just denies F1 visa without giving any proper reason to us.  That’s Visa Officer discretion.  Bottom-line, all the people travelling to India especially as a H1B holders need to be cautious and should NOT travel.

H1B visa holders, Please avoid travel to home country or other country  if you can.

Well, there are only two options:

  • Take the big risk, go to home country or any other country ,  and take a big chance at Port of  entry.
  • Do NOT take risk and NOT go to home country and avoid the situation.

No travel on H1B to Other countryThe wisest thing, provided if your situations permit, to do is to avoid travel to your Home country could be India, Sri lanka or any other country on H1B visa. You never know, may be 98 percent of the people come through the port of entry, still there is 2% people taking the hit and thats the risk…why take the risk ? Especially with the new rules of H1B visa for 2011 multiplied with all the macro economic factors like recession, it is a very risky bet.  But, you will have to remember it happens may be only very few, one in 500 or 1000, I do not know the statistics. But, people only talk about negative things and make a big deal about everything.  People do not talk about how many of them came through the port of entry successfully. I will try to post some information on few success at Port of entry as my friends recently came back.

If you have to travel, what can you do to make your case stronger at port of entry ?

Well,  the main reason for all the fuss around is the new H1B guidelines and the implications to existing H1B cases.  This is what USCIS says about extensions and logically thinking, they expecet the H1B holder to have valid documents as listed below based on the regulations memorandum released. This is for the extension only.

  1. Copies of the beneficiary’s pay records (leave and earnings statements, and pay stubs, etc.) for the period of the previously approved H-1 B status;
  2. Copies of the beneficiary’s payroll summaries and/or Form W-2s, evidencing wages paid to the beneficiary during’ the period of previously approved H-1B status;
  3. Copy of Time Sheets during the period of previously approved H-1 B status;
  4. Copy of prior years’ work schedules;
  5. Documentary examples of work product created or produced by the beneficiary for the past H-1B validity period, (i.e., copies of: business plans, reports, presentations, evaluations, recommendations, critical reviews, promotional materials, designs, blueprints, newspaper articles, web-site text, news copy, photographs of prototypes, etc.). Note: The materials must clearly substantiate the author and date created;
  6. Copy of dated performance review(s); and/or
  7. Copy of any employment history records, including but not limited to, documentation showing date of hire, dates of job changes, i.e. promotions, demotions, transfers, layoffs, and pay changes with effective dates.

Also,talk to your employer and get to know the details of your H1B filing and details like how the H1B was filed and How was the client company presented and How your skills were presented in the original petition. Your explanation should be congruent with the filing of your original and extension of H1B visa. Any discrepancies between your employers and your statements will create unnecessary troubles. Just take time to study your history of H1B petition and work with employer and get to know all the details. Your employer is your best resource and can help you in this situation.

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Article written in January, 2010.  The below information is for your reference only, it does not apply to current year visa conditions.

This post is just a word of advice and caution intended in good spirit to help H1B holders  in US to take a wise decision about travel. It is not intended to mislead or scare you if you travelling. It does not happen to everyone, but just good information to know and be prepared with better documentation that can help you be prepared with enough documentation complying all the new H1B guidelines and answer questions at Port of entry correctly.

Do you know any other instances where anyone on H1B visa you know were sent back ? Please share your experiences, it helps others …add a comment.

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Comments ( 330 )

  1. Vijaya

    Hi,I am traveling on 16th April to Mumbai having H4 renewal visa stamping. When I filled online form160 it’s shows me eligible for interview waiver. So I had complete former and submitted. I got receipt for drop box.
    Does it means drop box has been started again?
    My I good to go and submit as per drop box?
    Please suggest.

  2. Rajrishi

    I have a valid Visa till Oct2018. the Visa is already stamped on my passport and I am planning to take a tourist trip to Iceland. Will be travelling from JFK and landing back at the same. is there any issues with travel right now as my visa is stamped and will of course be carrying all the relevant documents. Visa copy

    1. administrator

      In general, as long as you have valid visa and all documents, you should be fine… There are always few cases that end up in secondary screening, which is normal, never gets reported. But as always, the disclaimer from US immigration is that “entry is always in the hands of POE officer and there is nothing called guaranteed entry…”. You can check POE tracker listed on the page, to get some idea.

  3. MK

    I have valid H1B /I94 till sept 2017. I have travel plans this March. Will there be any issues at POE because Visa validity is less than 6months when I return in April. I will be filing for my H1B extension after coming back.

  4. Dip

    I’ve entered USA on 27th Feb and my port of entry was New York. I had absolutely no issues with the immigration and I was asked only one question, that’s all. Please don’t panic unnecessarily, if you have all the valid supporting documents with you. Good luck.

  5. Sachin

    I was analyzing this topic and comments and not only here in other websites also. I am on gc ead with advance payrol and debating to visit india in first week of march.But there are so many rumors in market.If u see real data with the people who are coming back i see only positive answers that they came back without issue either it is h1b h4 l2b l2 or ead if they have valid documenation people are coming back.Majority of negative data that suggest not to travel is from people who are saying i heard from my frd or my company .They dont have facts..i may be wrong but if u search internet not even one person has written that he was denied from poe..thoughts..

  6. hardik jani

    I entered US on Feb 18, 2017 at SFO on h1b visa. There were no issues for me. Officer asked me few questions and that’s it. It was all done.

    1. administrator

      Thanks for sharing. Can you please add your experience at for everyone’s benefit.

  7. mdm


    I currently work in US on H1B in a product based company. I went for vacation on Jan mid and retuned on Feb 1 Weekend. I had my immigrations in Abu Dhabi since flight was Eithad and I didn’t have any issues there.

    Hope this Helps

    1. administrator

      Thanks for sharing. Would be great to add your experience at , it will help many.

  8. Lily

    Hi All,
    I hold indian passport. My H1b is valid till mid may 2017 and I have plan for cruise trip to mexico in the first week of March for 4 days from Florida. My H1 B extension is process which was filed couple of weeks back. I have few queries.
    1. Will it a problem coming back to USA as it will be almost little more than 2 months when my visa expires?
    2. It is fine to travel when extension decision is pending?
    3. Generally decision for H1 B extensions comes around 3 to 4 months time but in case if decisions comes in those fours days will it be problem for me? Will new I94 date become invalid in this scenario?

    Please let me know

  9. Mushahid M

    I have planned to visit India in March -April 2017. I have to Kids US citizens .
    I Am midway through my Green card process .
    My second term H1B is valid until 2019 October .
    But I am still going to renew my Australian PR because someone wise told me
    ” A bird in hand is worth two in the bush ”

    No matter what ever the rules changes , human respect and dignity should not be played with .
    Australia is the best country because nowhere in any Australian airport are people stopped for their religion or race or color or anything except if they bring pickles , fruits, seeds, meats etc .

    Respect people

    1. Saah

      Hello Mr.Mushahid M ,
      After getting AUS PR you moved to US? Till when is your pr visa valid in aus? If it has been expired already how do u renew it?

      Thank you.

  10. Srini

    I work for a very large Indian IT company and part of my job is to monitor visa related issues. Our analysis shows that denial of entry at POE has risen from practically 0% to 12% over the last two months. The denials are for H1 and L1 visa holders. No denials for dependent visas.
    We found no correlation between answers given by the employee and the decision by authorities. it is all very random. We are advising employees to avoid all unnecessary travel outside the United States.

    1. administrator

      Can you share how you got that 12% number ? That’s a lot. Is it based on any public data or denials from your large Indian IT company only ?

  11. vasu mani

    Hi All – I recently traveled back from India, and i did not have any problem in POE @ Seattle. I came through seattle on 9th of feb, and i have been asked with regular questions [Who is the employer, who is the client etc.,]. I work for a india based MNC, and working for a client company on H1.
    Also, i had valid visa in my passport and so did not go to stamping this time.

  12. Taman

    Hi – I was planning to go India on 16th Feb 2017, returning on March. I have my H1b extn stamping also ( through Dropbox). I am totally confused. Whether I should travel now or postpone my trip for now.

  13. Smridhi

    I was in US on H4 visa and currently travelled to India in jan. My return tickets are booked for 14th mar 2017 via Etihad. Please suggest if I should get my immigration done at Abu Dhabi airport or after reaching US? Please suggest which is better In current scenarios.

    1. mdm

      Yes In case of Eithad, Abu Dhabi you will have your immigration in Abu Dhabi itself and you will reach to domestic airport in US no more immigrations after reaching US.

  14. Akanksha Goel


    I am currently on H4 visa and my husband is on H1B. I have planned to travel to india in the last week of march for around one and a half month. Is it fine for me to travel or are there any chances on an issue? Please guide me.

    1. Sunil.

      Please don’t go , my friend was stopped at Tampa airport and the security asked him so many questions and finally he had to withdraw his petition and go back .

      1. administrator

        It would be of great help to many readers, if your friend or you can share more details on the context. I can update the article as well. Please post it here or email to , either works. Would be helpful for everyone.

    2. Bharat Singh

      Hello everyone,

      I came to know one of my friend, he went India for H1B visa stammping on 12 Jan and Visa cell did not proceed and kept his application on hold.

      There might be issue in vica stammping until this immigration is finalised in US court.

      But I have two more friends with H1B and they are coming back from India to US . One will come on 8th Feb and other is on 12th Feb 2017. I will post here if they cross port of entry esily. I have also H1B vica and planning to go in March 1st week but I am waiting my these two friends come easily then I can think.

        1. Bharat Singh

          Hello Everyone,

          My friend has come without issues yesterday night.

          Now I am waiting two more friends coming on 13th Feb.

          So good news for me that one of my friend has come without any problem.

          1. Bharat Singh


            Who has extension and those have to go India for stammping, should aboid for now.

            2 of nearly cirlcle friends application are kept on hold by Dehli visa cell, I do not hear this type news from Mumbai visa cell so if urgency try to stammping from Mumbai.

            Else who does not have to visa stammping just they want to meet family in India and wanted to come back, looks good for port of entry as of now. So pray to everyone, should not have any problem to anyone.

            I will update once 2 more frieds come on 13th Feb 2017. so far so good..

          2. Kit

            Thanks bharath. One more quick question can you check expiry for h1 who came without any issues. Ours is expiring this September . Will there b any problem if we r returning on march 6.

          3. Smridhi

            Hi Bharat,
            Kindly post what questions were asked to your friend at immigration counter. Were they simple usual questions or are immigration officers doing some detailed checks.

          4. Bharat Singh

            Hello Smridhi,

            I will share the questions which were asked with my friend next two days.

            Hello Kit,

            I just shared about my friend port of entry details.

          1. Anna

            has anyone faced problem in H1B visa stamping recently. I need to get it stamped, therefore asking. grateful for sharing of your experiences.

  15. Pooja Srivastava

    I have travelled plan to India from 9th – 23rd Feb. I am on L2 (EAD with green card awaited), and will be traveling with my daughter who is a special needs child and a US citizen. My husband will not be traveling with me. With the current travel ban and visa scrutiny, could there be a problem for me at the port of entry to US. Not sure if I should continue with my plans or cancel.


    1. kit

      Hi, I am also on H4 and have a travel plan , returning in first week of march.
      If you are travelling please keep us posted about the experience in POE.

        1. keerthi

          It should not be a problem as one of my friend recently cleared POE (on Feb 01).
          Questions asked are –
          1) Who is your employer
          2) Who is your client
          3) Where is your client located

      1. Arjun

        Hi , is there any problems at POE for new H1B visa travelling to DFW ,which is valid for 3 years , i am planning to travel on March 2nd.

  16. Gayathri

    I have H1B visa until Mar 2018 and work for an India based MNC company. I am planning to travel to India for a vacation. Should I avoid the travel.

    1. Kitti

      I am also in the same situation . I am on h4 . Me and my husband have a trip to India between mid of feb to first week of march . Now hearing so many news little worried about traveling even though all papers are in hand . Let me know what ever reliable information you get

    2. SP

      What is your status going to be after that? Have you filed for renewal for H1B (3 yr extension)? I have asked my employer to file for the extension, as mine will expire in Aug 2017 and plan to travel in May 2017. You still have over an year left for I don’t think you will have a problem. I traveled back to US from India in Nov. 2016, with less than a year left on my existing H1B, no problems at port of entry; However with the existing scenario you might just want to tie any loose ends and make sure your docs are in order. Good Luck.

      1. SR


        I have similar situation. My H1B is getting expired in July 2017. I have travel plans in March 2017. I already filed H1B extension on premium. If I travel do I need to go for stamping if my extension is approved.? I will be coming back(April 2017) before my current visa expires.

  17. ved

    i was revoked for 5 years at san francisco with no genuine reason .i was issued F-1 visa .now i want to persue my education at australia will there be any problem regarding this.will there government question on this?will there be any sort of problem to get a visa to their country and to clear immigration?can u please suggest us

    1. Dipti Gupta

      Hi Ved,
      My situation is similar. My visa has been revoked recently on 22nd feb 2017 and genuine reason was given. I am planning to apply for Canada but I am not sure if this revocation will affect my application to Canada. Can anyone please guide?

  18. manu

    I hold a valid H1-B Visa currently stamped since an year,but i have shifted the company who sponsered visa for me. Hence i wanted to know if the previous employer can completely revoke my visa and if it means that i cannot travel any time

  19. Kit

    Hi All,

    I have a question . My husband is on h1b which is expiring in sept 2017. This is our first 3 years in h1 b . Extension will be applied later next year. We have a plan of traveling in mid of February to India and return in first week of march. I keep hearing that immigration is going to be very strict. He has proper documentation from the client . It s a direct client of his employer . Will there be any problem in the immigration while coming back.

  20. Ramya

    We currently on Stem Opt, it will be expiry on July(2017). Our H1-B is in Process. We applied for an H1-B(RFE) on September. We have Planned to India on November.
    Our I-94 will until December 2017. Will be travel in this Month?

    1. administrator


      If you travel outside US and H-1 is still pending, then COS from F-1 to H-1 would be abandoned. Endorse your I-20 for travel, so that you can return on F-1 in this case. Once H-1 is eventually approved, you either need to enter on stamped H-1 visa or file COS from F-1 to H-1.

      If H-1 is approved by the time you travel, then you will have to get H-1 visa stamped in the home country and then return on it.

  21. Josh

    This article is pure nonsense. You are suggesting that we should not travel back to home country once you enter USA ? Instead, you could have tried to get some information on why they were sent back at the POE and prepared some details on how to avoid it.

    Suggesting to not travel home is rubbish, I’m so sorry to say this.

    1. Mushahid M

      I agree 100% .
      I have worked in Saudi and have used this slavery type work system and sending people back is totally ridiculous .
      I am on my second term H1B and valid until 2019 and also Green card is halfway through .
      But I am keeping my Australian PR and will be visiting Australia later this year to renew and keep my Aussie connection alive . Love Australia for all the right reasons . They never stop people at airports except to check for pickles, fruits and dairy products . Love the immigration system of Australia .
      Respect people !

      1. Aeimei

        Your case is just like mine…i must say great backup…lets discuss more on this. I was in Kuwait for 24 years then I moved to US on h1 and also got Aus PR. I am planing for Australia immigration validation trip on 24th Feb. Once i will visit Australia, then i will require new h1 stamping from Aus..whats your opinion? Should i go for this Aus landing trip? My company in US is Kforce and client is wells fargo..Will appreciate any comments..thanks

    2. VM

      It is actually total nonsense, rumors are being placed all over the internet which is becoming News. If you are here legally, you have a valid visa, no one can stop you. I have so many friends and colleagues, getting there Visa re-stamped in India and travelling back to US without any issues. One of my friends was stopped for hour as he was not carrying his LCA and they took some time to verify everything.

  22. Kav

    Also note his port of entry will be Chicago
    He will reach Atlanta from chicago.his relative is in Atlanta and employer job location in ohio

  23. Kav

    Hello Saurabh
    I have a husband got h1b and his date of joining is 1st October.his employer is in ohio.he is flying to US on 23rd september but he will be going to Atlanta first. He will meet and stay at his relatives place for few days I’m atlanta and then will fly to ohio. So my query is that will there be any issue at port of entry if the officer asks why you are going to atlanta and not to your employer location ohio .

    1. administrator


      For first time entry to US, it is strongly recommended to enter at PoE. However, if your husband is questioned at PoE about this, he can say the following:
      1. He knows that he can work from Oct 1 and wanted to spend some time with you and other relatives before flying to work location
      2. Take a letter from employer supporting this itinerary.
      3. Carry domestic flights tickets for travel from Atlanta to Ohio.

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