Once you get H1B stamping done at a US consulate office in your home country, you would be thinking, what are my next steps before I enter America…What are the typical things that you should do after visa stamping…What can you do to be prepared to enter US on H1B Visa. Let me shed some light on next steps after H1B Visa stamping.
Next Steps after H1B Visa Stamping
There are a set of activities that you should do as soon as you get your passport with US Visa Stamp on it. Below are the various activities that you should do, so that you do not lose out on anything.
When can you enter US ? Employer Confirmation ?
In general, after you get your visa stamping done, you can enter US only up to 10 days before the start date on your petition. Check more at When can I enter US after H1B Stamping. Either case, you need to discuss this with your employer and figure out, if there are any delays there. Once your employer confirms the date of your joining in US, then you can plan your activities based on that date.
Booking Flight Tickets:
First thing you need to do is book your flight tickets. The sooner you book, the cheaper your tickets…Talk to your employer and coordinate if they book tickets for you as it varies by company. If you are booking flight tickets on your own, you have few choices…you can go to online travel websites and book your flight tickets or you can go to a travel agency. Personally, I prefer to book tickets from a travel agent as you can get the best price. I always check the prices online and then talk to a travel agency…you need to bargain well with the travel agency and use your online price as a benchmark for bargaining. Also, it is important to understand the best airlines for long haul journey like food options, etc. So, talk to few people and pick the right airline. You may check Air India Flight SFO to Delhi Review
Health Checkup – Dental, Vision Checkup
Health care and dental can be pretty expensive in America. If you have the time, you should do a complete health and dental checkup in your home country. Dental would be much cheaper in your home country, so if you have any dental issues, get them fixed in your home country. It is good to get a general medical checkup and get yourself any medicines, if needed. Also, get your vision checked. Spectacles are very expensive in US as well, you are better off checking and getting extra pairs from your home country. If you have done full body checkup, just carry the reports for future reference. Health check is not mandatory for everyone, especially H1B holders, but good to have it as copy for your future purpose.
Driving License, International Driving permit
It would be very helpful for you to rent a car in USA, in the first few months. So, you would need a driving license. If you do not know how to drive, try to learn driving and get a license from your country. Again, if time permits. Also, it would not be a bad idea to get international driving permit as well. You can use it to rent a car…You can also use that as a Photo ID at many locations. Some states accept International Driving Permit for up to 1 year…So, if you can get the International driving license, just go for it. You can have both your country driving license and International driving permit. You will need to eventually get a US driver’s license, but your home country license can be used to rent a car and learn driving in USA by proper rules in the first few months…In fact, some states give you US driving license directly, if you have International driving permit…in such case, it is a bumper offer…
Buy Health Insurance for Travel :
It is very important to have health insurance to cover any unforeseen health issues during travel. Health care costs are really expensive in America or even during travel when you are in other country…Read Why NOT to be without health Insurance. Until you get a local health insurance policy in America or your employer provides you Health insurance, you should be covered by some sort of health insurance. There are many agencies that provide these like banks, insurance companies and travel agencies. We recommend that you go for websites like VisitorsCoverage as it is US based and easy for working with them after you arrive in US. Below are some of the common policies that US Travelers buy for short term insurance. Pick something that works for your price and choice.
List of Things you can Carry to USA
Many people tell you buy a LOT of stuff from your home country as you can save money…but, it is not wise to buy everything in home country. Based on my experience living as a student and working as a professional, I have written an article, that best describes what would be best to carry, what you should avoid…Read : List of Items to be carried to America
Documents Checklist for Port of Entry :
Your H1B Visa only allows you to arrive at US Port of Entry. You will go through port of entry procedures and be interviewed by CBP officers as part of your arrival in US. Read US Port of Entry Procedures, FAQs for an idea on the process. At the port of entry, you may be asked for documents and proofs, so you should be prepared. Ensure, you prepare a file with set of documents required for port of entry. Check article US Port of Entry H1B Checklist for complete set of documents.
Did I miss anything ? Do you have any other things to add ?