No travel on H1B to Other country

H1B Visa holders Issues at Port of Entry – Previous Experiences

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 416 Comments

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

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

One of the shocking news that I heard recently from my friends and also highlighted in news websites like  Rediff News  is few of the H1B visa holders were sent back to India at the port of entry. This article is about the incident and issues faced by them so that you can be cautious during travel.

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

This incident happened in the first week of January, 2010 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 IT body shop 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 – What are the options ?

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.

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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 expect 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 ( 416 )

  1. Kumar

    Hi , Last year Jan 2019 I got f1 OPT. I came to India in April , while going back to US I was stopped at the POE and withdrawn my visa . My question is can I apply for h4 , as I am marrying to H1 . Is their chances of getting h4 visa .

  2. Vikky

    My H1B visa cancelled( withdrawn ) at POE, due to unable to prove 5 years back f1-opt employment (unpaid intern), what are my chances to get the visa again and POE.

    1. administrator

      Did you sign anything at port of entry when they cancelled the visa ? When did this happen ? Share more details…
      In general, it all depends and very hard to say, everything is case to case.

    2. Fake Visa

      I like the choice of word – victims!

      Entering another country falsifying records and then blame Trump for your misdeeds.

      This is not India,

  3. Santosh


    I have H1B stamped Visa on my passport but i did not travel to US after stamping and am still in India. Due to client and location change, i had to file a H1B amendment from the same employer.

    Question: Do I need to get my visa stamped again or same stamping with new petition approval is valid for travel?

    1. administrator

      If you have the stamping valid, you do not have to go for stamping again. Make sure you carry all the new documentation for the amendment and submit the same at port of entry. Discuss with your attorney on the same and then take their guidance.

  4. Maharajan


    I traveled to US with Valid Visa and I-94 till 29th May 2020. Then I moved to another location with same client, amendment got approved with I-94 6th June 2020. (Aprrox. 10 days difference). Now Jan 2020 I have vacation plan to India, Do I need to go for stamping just for 10 days difference in I-94 ? If come back with out new stamping, shall I show new I79A copy to get new I-94 date in my passport ?

    1. administrator

      You do not need to. All it matters is, when you enter US port of entry, your visa needs to be valid. You can give the updated approval copy to CBP officer and they will give you the I-94 until that date, when you enter US.

      1. Maharajan

        Thank you so much for your quick response Kumar, yes I have valid VISA in my passport. Even in new approval the visa approval date is same as in my passport, only thing they have provided new I-94 at bottom page of I-797 A approval notice with additional 10 days. Your answer gives me some clear idea. Thanks again,

  5. Ghesoon

    We have people here more than qualified to take those jobs and families own a home and pay taxes. We have young generation with degrees smart born in the USA deserve those jobs
    Sorry it’s time to stop H1B visas it’s time for our kids to get those jobs, be trained, and build a family

  6. MVVP

    If it is 2010 article why to publish it now? lot many things have changed.

    Better not to create panic to people who is already afraid of many things.

    Just a suggestion.

    1. administrator

      We have NOT Published it recently. If you read the NOTE in red on the top, it is quite clear that the reason for having it out there. We do not delete old posts. Where needed, we put in a note on the top telling it is old article…

  7. Ram

    Hello everyone.

    I am holding H1B visa stamped and I have all necessary documents to support the current employer.
    But they are not willing to take me USA as of now.
    My question is can I travel to USA with out client as it is in house project… Will check in Poe

    1. MVVP

      It may be a difficult situation as in POE they will ask for where you will be working(If you are unable to prove that you have work to do, they may deport you back)

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