Many of the lucky ones, who got picked in H1B Visa lottery, approved and stamped are one step away from entering USA. This article will focus on information to help you with the next steps and some of the key things that will matter to you, if you are entering USA for the first time on H1B Visa status.
When can you enter USA on H1B visa ?
You can enter USA only 10 days prior to your H1B start date on your I-797 approval. Say, if your start date on I-797 is October 1st, 2018, then you can enter USA only after September 20th, 2018. Technically you are good to go now as we are close to that date. You can read all the details – H1B Visa – When to Apply stamping, Enter USA
Things to do in your home country before entering USA, What should I carry?
There are many things that you can do before entering USA on H1B to avoid some hassles and maybe save some money. These are things like Health Checkup, Dental Checkup, Eye checkup. Also, there are things like what you can buy in home country and carry them to USA. Some of the things are not required to carry. Read these articles
- Things to do – Health related in Home country
- Stuff to do before and after entering USA – Checklist
- List of things to Carry and NOT to carry to USA
Health Insurance for Travel to US : Having visitors health insurance is important for you as H1B holder to avoid any unforeseen health conditions, when you are on transit to USA and in the first couple of weeks until your employer provides you Health Insurance. It is always a good idea to get Health Insurance from a US vendor, who can support you, when you are in US. We recommend Buying Visitors Insurance at Visitors Coverage – Visitors Insurance as they have US phone support and you can compare all insurance plans to buy cheapest that fits your need.
Port of Entry ( POE) – Process, Documents checklist
The process is pretty simple and straight forward, you will need to fill up a customs declaration form with the information on what you are carrying to USA. Also, previously you were mandated to fill a paper I-94 form, but for most part, it is electronic now and no need to do this. You will get down from airline, stand in a queue to have a quick interview with CBP officer ( customs and border protection officer ), who can ask you some general questions on your status, where you are going, etc. He is the one who decides, if you can enter the USA or not. If he is not sure, he will send you for secondary inspection. You will have to make sure you carry all the documents required. Read Checklist of Documents for Port of Entry process . The CBP officer will stamp your passport and put a date and status of your visa, just check the visa status he puts in. Once it is done, you will have to pick up your luggage bags and then go through the customs. You may be questioned by customs randomly to open bags or if they sense something is wrong. After that you are good to get out of airport… Welcome to America !
Things to do after Entering USA?
To make your life easier without hassles, it is good to take care of all the logistics, in the first week . You need to do quite a few things like updating employer, open bank account, apply for SSN, get health insurance, apply for state ID, etc. Read this article List of things to do after Entering USA
Also, I recommend you check out the things that you are not supposed to do in USA.
Did I miss anything ? What are your thoughts and experiences ?