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 by KumarUpdated : 404 Comments

NOTE
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 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 caution to avoid travel.

US Port of Entry Experiences Tracker

Check out US Port of Entry(POE) Experiences with anonymous data from everyone.

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.

Add your US POE Experience

Please add your US Port of Entry Experience for everyone's benefit. It is fully anonymous and will help many waiting for it like you.

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.


Image credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/erussell1984/2490601749/

   

Other Articles


Comments ( 404 )

  1. Santosh

    Hi,

    I am in H1B my company was running less paychex every month from 2 months compare to my offer letter due to in lack of project doesn’t it makes a problem? as well how many days we can stay in H1b without running payroll.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Santosh,
      You need to get paid at least the amount quoted in the LCA irrespective of whether you are on a project or not.

    2. Vijaya

      Hi all,
      I am on H4 going India for sister wedding in may2017..for 3 weeks.
      It’s any problems for H4? I am having stamping too in Mumbai.
      Is any problem for H4 at port of authority Newark?

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Vijaya,
        Do not worry too much. While there is so much of anxiety among many that POE is rejecting people, it is not fully true. You should be fine as long as you have everything you need in good shape.

  2. joseph

    Hi,

    I have H1B visa till 2014, its my 1st US travel to work for a company , i wish to file H4 for my wife and kids. but they will be coming only next year. In that case shall we apply H4 now itself or later my wife can apply?

    what all docs needs to apply for H4, Do i need to there with them while they travel to US ?

    Please give your suggestion

    Thank you.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Joseph,
      If you are currently outside of US, then for H-4 stamping they would need all the regular documents you had for your own H-1 interview. In addition, they need to carry their own passports, proof of relationship (like marriage certificate, birth certificate etc). If you are in US at the time of H-4 interview then additional documents include (in addition to above) payslips and W-2 (if applicable).

  3. Siva

    Hi,

    I have my H1B Visa from my company A Valid till sep 2014. I have not been visited US since I got my Visa. Now I am planning to change to company B where I have a better chance of going to US. What are the things would be required to change the VISA from company A to B or what is the best way to do that?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Siva,
      B can file a cap-exempt H-1 petition for you (aka H-1 transfer). You will need copy of A’s approval notice or at least the receipt number for this. Once approved, you can travel to US and work for B. No visa stamping is required as long as the previous visa stamp is still valid.

  4. Tina

    Hi Saurabh
    I am on H4 visa and my visa stamp is expired. I have to travel to India in May. My question is : Will there be any problem if i book a flight which has lay over at London UK ? I read that transit visa is required in UK/Europe if visa stamp is expired. Is it applicable to Europe/UK only or there are countries too? Can u plz help me??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Tina,
      I didn’t check the rules recently, but until some years ago anyone transiting in EU needed to have a transit visa in case of expired US visa. You can either fly through west where no transit visa is required, or check w/ airline/consulate of the concerned country, if transit visa is still a requirement.

  5. Sumesh

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am on L1-B visa which expires on July 19 2012. My wife is working on L1 EAD.
    Her company has initiated the H1-B processing. It’s with the attorney and yet to be filed. The current SOW is valid only till Dec 2012, in which case I expect that the h1-B will get approved only till Dec 2012. To be on the safer side, we are planning to file H1-B through another consultant.

    1. Can multiple H1-B can be filed? If in case both are approved, can we request to withdraw the one with shorter SOW period and go for stamping of one with longer duration? What is the risk?

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sumesh,
      Multiple H-1s can be filed. If both are approved, you can decide to join either of them which has better chances of H-1 stamping.

  6. SD

    My L1-B visa is expiring on 10-SEP-2012.My company is filling H1-B visa in regular case.My I-94 is valid upto 09-SEP-2014. Now my question is:
    1.Do I need to go to India for Stamping as in H1-B it starts from 01-OCT-2012 and my L1-B visa expires on 10-SEP-2012. Can I work on during 20 days as my H1-B is filed.
    2.Or when my H1-B petition approved then I can go any time to India and get stamped and come back.

    Please advise.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      SD,
      1. You can work on L-1 on the basis of I-94 for those 20 days
      2. You will be on H-1 from Oct 1 (assuming it gets approved w/ COS by that time). After that you can travel to India as per will, go for H-1 stamping and return on stamped H-1 visa.

  7. Guest

    My visa stamped on passport expires on Sep 15, 2012. I changed my employer recently, and holds new I-797 with validity till OCt 2014. I am planning to go to India in Mid of Aug and come back before Sep 15,2012. Could you please suggest , if it is safe to travel back to US in first week of September?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Guest,
      Usually one can return to US as long as the visa stamp is valid. Visa stamp is used primarily to enter US and no longer important once you are inside US.

  8. Sunny

    Hi,

    I had my previous H1B work Permit approval valid till 31st Dec 2011. In Nov 2011, my H1 work permit extension was applied, and now I have got my H1B work permit approval, which is valid from 11th Jan 2012 onwards till 31st Dec 2014.
    So, the problem is that I do not have a valid work permit for 10 days – from 1st Jan 2012 till 10th Jan 2012.
    Is this really a problem?
    If yes, what should be done to rectify this?

    Thanks,
    Sunny

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sunny,
      I don’t think it will be an issue as your extension was timely filed. You should check w/ your attorney if this needs to be corrected and how it can be corrected.

  9. Lipsa

    I have my H1b Visa with Company A with validity from September 2011 to Aug 2014.
    I went to India and got my Visa Stamped in Jan 2011(Jan2011 – Aug 2014 Visa Expiration date).
    Now my Job Duties and Job Title got changed. So my Company A is going to File H1b Extension + Amendment with validity July 2012 to July 2015.
    I will get new form I-797 with I-94.
    Now if I travel to India this coming Nov 2012, do I need to get my visa stamped again because I got new I-797 for Amendment+Extension.
    My current Visa Stamp is with Company A valid till August 2014.

    I appreciate your help. Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Lipsa,
      No visa stamping is required as long as previous visa stamp is valid and has not expired. This holds true even in the scenario you change employers.

      1. Guest

        My visa stamped on passport expires on Sep 15, 2012. I changed my employer recently, and holds new I-797 with validity till OCt 2014. I am planning to go to India in Mid of Aug and come back before Sep 15,2012. Could you please suggest , if it is safe to travel back to US in first week of September?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Guest,
          You can return on that stamped visa even if it is valid for just few more days. Just carry rest of the documentation related to your employment.

  10. vicky

    Hi saurabh,

    I am on a H4 dependent visa and i arrived in usa on April 5th,2012.. My brother is getting married in May and i inted to attend his wedding for 2 days… If i leave US and return in 2 weeks in May ,will i have problems at the port of entry?
    Please advise me.. I am confused and troubled..

    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vicky,
      There will not be any issue as long as you carry all the required documentation i.e. copy of spouse’s 797, spouse’s recent payslips, stamped visa in the passport and spouse’s other employment related documents.

  11. Naveen

    Hi Saurabh,

    My opt started on Jan 16 2012 ends on Jan 16 2013. I’m planning to travel to India between Dec 22 2011 and Jan 10 2012.

    My company will be doing my opt extension in October this year (working with an e-verified company)

    Is it wise to travel if i dont receive new ead by dec 22? (my old one would have an end date Jan 16 2013)? Will i face any issues at poe?

  12. Raj

    Hey Saurabh,
    I will be travelling to US in a couple of weeks in H1B, I work in one of the biggest US IT Company. My work location is Denver but my company travel desk has given a Qatar Airways flight which goes to Washington DC and then I have to take domestic flight to Denver.
    Will there be any issues to have POE as DC, I will have all documents,client letter(as working in client site),etc but wanted to know the current scenario for POE in a different city (although I will have the ticket to Denver in hand which would depart in 4 hours).

    Would it be better to have POE as Denver instead ??

    Please let me know your point of view…

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raj,
      It should be fine. Make sure you have the ticket for domestic flight from DS to Denver ready so that you can show it to PoE officer (if asked). You may also be asked why you are entering in DC when your end location is Denver.

  13. Mohammad

    Currently I am on 17 months STEM OPT,My STEM OPT expires on July 3rd 2012.
    My questions to u are,

    1) I work full time with my employer which is e-Verified company and they have already filed H1-B for me this April 2012. So, if my H1-B gets approved from USCIS, i need to apply for cap-gap extension from July-Sept end, As H1-B starts from October.

    2) My brother is getting married in the month of May 2012, So I wanna visit India to attend his marraige for 1 week from May 12th -May 19th 2012.
    So, if I travel, will there be any issues at port of entry, bcoz I will just be having more than 1 month left for my STEM OPT to expire (keeping the latest I-20 signed and Employers letter in hand,pay stubs in hand)

    3) If my H1-B gets approved by April, will my status (SEVIS) change automatically from April itself?

    So, keeping all this in view, can I travel to India and come back to US without taking any chances?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mohammad,
      1. Correct
      2. It will be fine. Make sure you carry your recent payslips, OPT card endorsed for travel, employment verification letter and other documents. Also, if you leave US while your H-1 is pending, then your COS would be abandoned. This means, you will not be eligible for cap-gap. So make sure your H-1 gets approved before you leave US.
      3. I think it will be closed w/ date of Oct 1. You will have to check this w/ your DSO.

  14. Swathi

    Hi Saurabh,

    I’m on L2 EAD working as a full time employee for a US company. my EAD and visa expires on Jul 20th and aug 4th respectively. My husband’s company filed for my L2 extension in Jan , 2012 and my company filed for my H1b on april 2nd, 2012. on Jul 30th,2012 my husband will have completed 5 years of stay in usa on L1 B. (the petition now under processing is L1A). He has got H1b sponsership for this year (Petition yet to apply) who is willing to file GC in Jul/ aug under future employment. my questions are

    1. if we go to india in july to get h1b stamping, as my husband is left with only 1 year to complete 6 years of H1b, are there any risks of getting Visa stamping.
    2. as per the current situation, how long will it take to get GC labor approval. I believe on getting GC labor aproval, one can get extension on H1b beyond 6 years.
    3. for both of us this will be the 1st H1b which comes under cap, in case if we don’t get visa stamp and want to apply again, will it be considered under cap or cap exempt as our petitions are approved.
    4. can i keep working from India for august and september, even though i don’t have visa and work permit of USA.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Swathi,
      1. I don’t think there would be any risk based on that reason. Once your petition has been approved, USCIS would have determined the remaining time and you can get the visa for the same.
      2. I haven’t checked the latest processing times, but it can take 2-6 months to get PERM approval.
      3. Based on your approved petitions, you can go for cap-exempt H-1s i.e. not subject to cap.
      4. Yes, you can work remotely from India

  15. Raghavan

    Hi, I am Raghavan, currently on L-2 extension till 23rd Nov 2012. My company has
    applied for an H1B and I am hopeful to get my petition in 3 months time. Once I get my
    petition, ( which will be valid from 1st Oct 2012). If I go for my vacation in july, could I
    get my L-2 visa stamped as well as my H1B simultaneously in my passport.

    Kindly Advise.

    Thanks and regards.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raghavan,
      You can get L-2 visa stamped (if it has expired) and then return on L-2 visa. You will remain on L-2 until Oct 1, and will automatically move to H-1 from Oct 1. This is assuming your H-1 has been approved w/ COS by the time you leave US. No H-1 stamping is required in this case. You can discuss this w/ your attorney as well.

  16. Rajanna

    Hi I am in dilemma
    I am on my opt right now it started back on July 5 2011 … I travelled to India during sep 2011 and came back ( travelled for about 4 weeks) … I have to travel now again for a important occasion .. My opt expires on July 4 2012 … But I have the 17 month extension option .. I am travelling now from April 5- may2 2012.. I will come back to USA on may 3 2012 and my opt expires on July 4 2012.. So I will have just 2 months time .. Will it be a problem at Poe … I have not applied for extension .. Planning to apply after I come back ….
    I have employment letter .. I 20 .. Ead .. Visa …. I am just worried that since my opt expires in 2 months will I be denied or questioned ???
    And can you please tell me about the 90 day unemployment period during opt ..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rajanna,
      It should be ok. You can let the officer know that you plan to file for OPT extension soon after entering US and had to travel out for some personal reasons. Also, get your I-20 endorsed for travel by the DSO.

      When on OPT, a person can stay unemployed for maximum 90 days. If the person stays unemployed for more, then that is considered as violation of legal status.

  17. Kiran

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have company A as petitioner in my Visa stamp which is valid till 2015. Now if I have company B approved H1B petition will there be questions on this at POE? This would be my first entry to US and would like to know what kind of questions they generally ask and if there would be any issues in mycase?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kiran,
      I think it should be fine. You can enter on A’s visa stamp and B’s approved petition. They will ask about B’s position, your job/duties etc

  18. Guest

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a quick question about H1B processing. Currently I am single and will be travelling to India in May, my employer will be processing my H1B once I am back. I may get married in India ( court marriage) so it will be easier for my husband to visit the US on a H4. Do you think that is a good idea or should we just apply for his visitor visa? He might get rejected hence I dont want to take the risk. Also if we do get married and I don’t get my status on my passport updated will that be any trouble at the time of him applying for h4? Also do I need to let my employer know about my marriage? And how will it affect my status here in terms of tax and all.

    Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Guest,
      Yes, he can go for H-4 visa stamping based on court marriage once your H-1 has been approved. Make sure you have marriage certificate and some pictures taken of the wedding. It is not necessary to have names updated in the passport when going for H-4 visa stamping. You can just inform your employer about it, but there is no action required on their part. It is better to go for H-4 visa than visitor’s visa as the latter allows one to stay in US for only up to 6 months.

      In terms of tax, there will be no implication as he will continue to live in India and not US. Once he is living in US, you can file the return as “married and jointly”, which would increase your tax slabs and bring down the tax rate (depending upon your income). He would have to apply ITIN for this purpose.

  19. Sravan

    Hi Saurabh,
    Thanks for your responses to all the questions. I have been reading it a while.
    I came to US on L1B in June,2011 from an Indian MNC. I lost my passport in August,2011 and got a new PP from Indian Embasy in Chicago. Also I have applied for I94 and got it. I have filed a police report and communciated about my lost PP to US consulate in Hyd (my L1B and old B1 visa was issued in Hyd). And in Dec, 2011 I have converted to H1B(filed in Nov, 2011 and approved on Feb 24, 2012) and now I am working on EC model for a state agency project. My employer (desi consultancy) is having employees less than 50 and had very few H1Bs (less than 5). In this case I am planning to go to India for my marriage soon.
    In this scenario,
    1) What are my chances of approval/rejection/pending stamping in Hyd consulate, If I carry all required documents (including Police report and communication with VFS in Hyd and photocopies of lost PP) ?
    2) Are the chances of approval more if I go to Mexico?
    3) or, Is it good to join as a full time employ then travel to India?

    Thanks!!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sravan,
      1. More than your lost passport, they would be interested in your employment. So they would like to know how long is your project, client details, employer-employee relationship etc
      2. For 1st time H-1 stamping, it is always recommended to go to home country
      3. Preferred option

  20. Raju Tapdiya

    Hello Saurabh ,

    I am Raju, visiting India after 5 years .
    I came to USA on H1b via Wipro and in 2011 joined American Company .
    I have few questions –
    01) I-94 –
    When i came here( USA) i got one I-94 and then there were couple of H1 extensions so i have those I94 .
    In 2011 , as i have joined American Company so i got transferred on H1 and got one more I94 .
    While Departing from USA – Which I94 i need to Submit ? All or just latest one ?

    02) Choosing Consulate for Stamping –
    When i got Visa stamped in India ( In 2005 ) – i got it via Delhi Consulate and now i am planning for Hyderabad Consulate office and my residence address in India is in Andhrapradesh .

    Please suggest on this .

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raju Tapdiya,
      1. You can staple them all together and return them. Keep a copy of each one of them for your future reference.
      2. You can go to any consulate for visa stamping.

        1. Raju Tapdiya

          Hi Saurabh ,

          I have one more question on Passport .
          I have 02 indian passport – One is expired on which i got the visa stamped ( Now expired ) and now i have new one and based on that i got my new I797 approved .

          While filling DS160 – which passport details i need to enter ? Both .

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Raju Tapdiya,
            Your current passport is the new one. If they ask about old passports, then you need to mention the old passport there.

  21. Akhilesh Jha

    Hi,

    I’m working in US since August 2011. My Visa got expired in february 2012 but I got extension till 2014 (thou not yet stamped)

    I’ve to go back to India for just one week to attend a family ceremony, which I cannot avoid. I’m planning to get the Visa stamped during that period.

    I’ve two questions:
    1. Which all flights I can board enroute to India?
    2. Is this travel going to impact my comeback to US?

    Regards,
    Akhilesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Akhilesh Jha,
      1. Some time ago flights through Europe required a valid US visa in the passport when transitting through them, else transit visa was required. Not sure if that is still the requirement. I don’t know of any other relationship b/w allowed travel routes and expiration of visa.
      2. You will have to go for stamping, and that may delay/disrupt your travel plans if 221g is issued.

  22. Venkatesh

    Hello, Thanks for giving us such a great site that has lots of information. I have a question regarding my up coming travel to India. I came to US on H1B in 2008 thru a consulting company and got a full time position with one of the client I was contracting with and joined them. I am a fulltime employee of this company now. I am planning for a vacation to India for 3 weeks. I will have to go thru Stamping. I have been hearing that the consulate in India has been rejecting lots of cases. I am kind of concerned and would like to know your opinion on my travel. Any information / suggestions are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Venkatesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Venkatesh,
      Chances of rejection are high when working for a consulting company in EC or EVC model. However, you seem to be working as a direct employee, who have fared much better during the interview process. However, always have contingency plans.

      1. Hemant

        Dear Saurabh,
        I am writing to you since you seem to be very knowledgeable in these matters. My son graduated from a US college and now works for a large accounting & assurance services company in the US. He has an H1 visa through this company since October 2011. He holds an Indian passport.
        I am a Singapore citizen. My son wants to visit me in Singapore for a few days. My questions are as follows:
        1) Will he have to go to India for stamping of his H1 visa?
        2) Can he have it stamped at the US Consulate in Singapore?
        3) What documents must he have with him?
        Thanking you in advance and best regards,
        Hemant

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Hemant,
          1,2 Consulate in each country has a different policy on TCN (third country national). It would be better to contact US consulate in Singapore and ask them about it. As he has done Masters in US, he also has the option of travelling to CA or MX to go for stamping and then travel to Singapore.
          3. Usual documents include:
          – his documents (resume, experience letters, marksheets, degrees)
          – H-1 documents (copy of LCA, copy of I-129, 797, employer’s letter to USCIS)
          – employer documents (tax returns, unemployment wage reports etc – not reqd for large employers)
          – job documents (duties, role, responsibilities). If working for a client and if it’s a small-medium employer then client/project documents, SOW, MSA etc

          1. Hemant

            Thanks a million Saurabh.
            Will check with US Embassy in Singapore and will also advise my son to peruse the Canada option.
            Thanks again and best regards
            Hemant

  23. urgent help needed

    Hello Saurabh,

    I was on my OPT STEM extension and I was sent back from POE . I voluntarily withdrew my visa application and sent back. I was finger printed when I tried to help some one during my college and I got into trouble. I went through a diversion program and I had the court documents saying the case got dismissed and I even showed the CBP officer the court papers and everything but that didn’t help. My SEVIS is still active and univ issued a new OPT I-20 .

    Do you know anyone on F-1 status with such a similar situation who were sent back to India while on OPT, went for a F-1 visa interview again on an OPT I-20 and successfully made it back to US.

    Please do let me know.. any advice is much appreciated

  24. Garone

    Hi, i came accross your site trying to find help. I’m plannig in going back to the Philippines this Dec for a few weeks.

    I currently have an h1-b visa that will expire on 2014. My wife is under h4 as my dependent. Both h1 and h4 were acquired from a b1/b2 visa, so we only have the i94 as proof of the h1/h4.

    Does his mean the h1 visa i have will become invalid once I leae the US and that I will have to re-apply for it? I have heard that I will need to go to the US consulate in the Philippines for an iterview first before returning to the US , which could mean that my h1 visa will not be approved even before I get on the plane. Is this correct?

    Also, will the form i-824 (Application for Action on Approved Application or Petition) help if i asked my h1 paperwork to be sent to both the consulate and POE?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your proof of H-1/4 is the 797A petition that employer received when your petition was approved. It is the same one that has I-94 attached to bottom of it. You need to carry this document while travelling outside of US. The I-94 needs to be detached and submitted at the airport while departing along w/ the I-94 that you received when you entered US on B-1/2 visa.

      Your H-1 will remain valid as it’s based on 797 and not I-94. When in Philippines, you will have to go for visa stamping interview. You will have to carry your employment documents including pay checks, W2, 797 etc. Once your visa has been stamped, you can use that visa stamp and your 797 to re-enter US and continue working on H-1.

  25. Manish

    Hi Saurabh / Kumar,
    I am new to your forum and in a single day I have read a lot of articles and posts on it. This site is really a life-saver.

    So, I came to USA for first time in 2008 on B1 visa thru some Indian company , stayed here for around 3 months. After 3 months I went back to India. Then my Indian Employer applied for L1-B. I came here on L1-B in 2009. After 1 year I got sponsor for H1-B and I got approval on H1-B in Oct, 2010. After working for almost 1 year with X Employer, I transferred my H1-B to Y employer in 2011. Now, I have to visit India in May 2012. I am planning to go to Mumbai consulate for stamping as soon as I go to India.
    Now, considering above & with current situation in mind will there be anu problems for me during stamping in India ? Can I go to Canada for stamping before I go to India ?

    I appreciate your response. 🙂

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Manish,

      I am glad that you liked this site.

      As this is your first H-1 stamping, it’s better to go to home country for the stamping. You may be quizzed on following this (not an exhaustive list):
      – your qualifications
      – employer’s size, revenue etc
      – job requirements, duties etc
      – past employers on H-1, L-1 including paychecks, W2s etc

      1. Manish

        Nice to see your quick reply.
        Though I am planning to go India for stamping, but since my few employeers of my employer’s recently had stamping done successfully from Canada, my employer is also suggesting to got Canada for stamping.
        1. What could be the complications going to Canada for first H1 stamping ?
        2. My project got changed 3 times in last 1 year, but my location is same, Do I need my previous employer’s LCA also, when I go for stamping or the current LCA will suffice the purpose ?

        Thanks,
        Manish

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          1. The VO may ask you to go to home country for stamping, or may issue 221g (for additional documents and processing), which would mean that you are stuck in CA.
          2. Current LCA should be sufficient, but it doesn’t harm carrying the old LCAs as well.

          When you say other employees have done successful stamping in CA, do you know if they have done Masters in US and if any of them went for their 1st H-1 stamping.

  26. diku

    Hi, I have H1B visa valid from 1/11/2009 thru 31/10/2012. I worked in the US on H1B visa from March 2010 to April 2011. From April 2011 till now I am in India working with subsidiary co of my US firm.Right now I am paid in India – Indian salary. I dont have US paystubs from May 2011 till date. Now my employer (US firm) wants me to come back and work in US for 3 months Feb- April 2012. Will I have any problem at POE. What docs should i carry ? I have latest W2 of 2010 and latest paystub of April 2011. I can get a letter from employer about my fresh employment – can we mention that I was on Indian payroll – will the discontinuity in the US pay be a problem ? Please advise

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You are fine on payslips and W2 front. Discontinuity in the US pay is not an issue as you were paid until the time you were in US.

      Carry all payslips for 4 months of 2011, W2 for 2010 and if W2 for 2011 arrives by the time you are travelling then that as well. In addition, carry employer related documents including contact information, letter of invitation.

  27. Gurpreet

    Hi Friends
    I am on L1 visa & my H1 visa is in process (initial phase). For some reason I have to visit India in Feb2012. Does it impact my H1 visa processing or any complication while returning to US.

    Thanks
    GP

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If your H-1 was filed w/ COS, then it would be considered abandoned once you leave US and it is still processing. You can return on L-1 visa and then apply for COS to H-1 or get H-1 visa stamped in passport to start working on H-1. Other than that, your H-1 would continue to be processed.

  28. Prerna Misra

    Hi ,

    Iam planning to travel to india in june and my visa is expiring in july.Also I am planning to return back to US just one week before my visa expiry.Please let me know if there can be any problems?I have an H1B.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It is ok to return to US on visa stamp as long as that has not expired. So IMO, you can return to US on a visa stamp that is valid for just 1 more month. Visa stamp is used just to enter US, everything else is governed by 797 and I-94.

  29. Raaj

    Hi,
    My H1 visa is valid till Sep2012. I travelled from US to India in Mid October2011. I plan to return to US in Early Feb2012. I have been working from remote, and, getting my paychecks in US all the time when I am working ‘working from India’…I have following questions.

    1. What all questions I expect (since I am away for long time)
    2. Would ‘working from India’ and getting paid in US , be a issue?
    3. Can I present proof of social events for which I was required to be in India? Would it help my case?

    4. Should I request employer for letter to support ‘why I was away for such a long time’?

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. You may be asked about the long break, what you plan to do on your return etc
      2. No, it won’t be
      3. I think just saying personal reasons is good enough.
      4. Carry a recent letter from employer mentioning their intent to hire you back onsite and continue providing your services from US.

  30. shrenik

    Hi, I have H1B visa valid thru 10/31/2012. I was in US from Jan 2010 thru April 2011. In Feb 2012 I want to go back to US for about 3 months. Also in Aug – Oct 2012 I would like to revisit US and work with the same employer . Will the inbetween long absences from the job be a trouble at the port of entry ? When I am in India, I work for the Indian subsidiary of the US employer and get paid Indian salary ? Please advise. To avoid trouble what should I do ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It should not be an issue as long as you maintained legal status during all of those visits. Carry your US payslips, recent employment letter and past W2s.

  31. prad

    hi

    I got H1 visa approved. In my I 129 and LCA, the client name and location is X. I will be now travelling to different client/state Y. Will there be any issues in port of entry if i land in state Y? I have LCA filed for Y location.

    Can u please comment..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It should be ok. Carry the LCA for the new location, 797 and a client document mentioning the start of the project at the new location. Also keep your employer or client contact information in case PoE officer decides to call them to confirm about things.

  32. Manish

    I am currently working in Chicago. My Wife went to India in Nov 2011 and will return in Feb 2012. Meanwhile i have changed my job and will be moving to california even before my wife comes.

    As i have already booked ticket for her from Mumbai to Chicago. Do i need to change the ticket so that it is Mumbai to California because of Port of entry issue ??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      As it will not be her first entry to US on H-4 visa, she can enter directly in CA. Ensure that she carries information about your latest employment and then she can travel to CA. Another option is to enter US at Chicago and then take a domestic flight to CA.

  33. Nams

    Hi Kumar,
    i am thinking of traveling back home this dec and need H1B stamping to re-enter back. This is my second work visa with Merck. Lately i have been hearing case being on hold for further administrative processing and really concerned about the travel. Apart from the obvious documents like H1 papers, employment verification letter. Is there anything else ? any help will be appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Stamping is tough when working for a consulting company in an EVC or EVVC model. If you are working as a direct full-time employee of a credible US company, then it is much easier.

  34. Abhi

    I was a student and currently am a consultant on STEM OPT. I am planning to travel to India. My port of exit and entry will be Chicago as my client is in Chicago. However, my consulting company is in New Jersey. Will this be a problem? Should I ensure that my port of entry is near my consultancy?

    Thanks in advance,
    Abhi.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It should be ok as long as you are carrying all the required documents related to your work (for e.g. payslips, contract, project details, client information etc).

  35. Raj

    Hi There,

    I got my first H1b visa stamped in Germany? so would it be any issue if i go back to India for re-stamping my visa now? i know you are not the US visa consulate office but you might have come accross such case so if you could share us your experience on this that would be really great?

      1. Raj

        Actually, i have not completed my course masters completely for some personal reasons and got H1 B stamped and came to USA after that this is the first time I’m going for re-stamping that where are my worry is? could you please let me know how would by case look like?

        thank you so much
        Raj

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I don’t think it would adversely impact. You might be questioned about leaving the course in b/w and your can respond to it truthfully. The VO will be more interested in knowing whether your current employer has the resources to pay you, and whether the job fits into all H-1 requirements.

  36. Amisha

    Hi,
    I did my MBA from US and then got a full time job at General Electric and have been working there for past one year. GE filed my H1B, got it approved. Now I am planning a vacation during December holidays but skeptical about my visa stamping as I have hearing lot of problems about administrative processing. Do you know if full time employees working for big companies land up in problems too? What documents I should carry? Please help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H-1 stamping for fulltime employees is still easy and especially considering you are from a top tier company like GE. Documents you need to carry are:
      – I129, LCA, 797
      – payslips, W2
      – employment letter, manager contact details, job duties
      – resume

  37. Sharad

    Hi,
    I am currently working in US on an OPT which is valid till May 2012. My H1B got approved a few weeks back. The start date on my approval letter(I797) is Jan 1, 2012.
    I am visiting India from Nov 8-Dec 5, 2011. I was wondering can I get my H1B stamped during this visit, even though the start date is January? My lawyer says Ineed not, and that I will be coming back on OPT. And will have to go for H1B stamping sometime after my start date. I just needed some conformation on this.

  38. Rajesh

    Hi,

    I have my VISA H1B stamped and approved and it expires by Dec 13,2011. I have a project opening and I have to travel by Oct 22nd. But, recently I heard that the USCIS needs minimum 60 days of VISA expiry for anyone to land in US. Is that true? In that case, are there any exceptions?? Please reply ASAP.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I don’t think there is any such requirement. The only nuisance that I know of is that you will have to file for extension soon after landing in US as your 797 and I-94 would be expiring on Dec 13.

  39. Sandhya

    Hi,

    I am writing on behalf of my spouse who is the H1B holder and I am on H4. His visa had expired in July 2011, but got it approved in the month of September. He is awaiting for the documents from his employer. We are planning on a vacation within US, but we are skeptical about it. Will there be any issues with our visa?? Please clarify.

    Thanks,
    Sandy

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      As long as you are taking vacation within US, you should be fine. If you plan to travel outside US, then it would be an issue.

  40. Aesha

    Hi

    I am planning to visit India in November – December. I have got my H1 approved here in US but i need to get it stamped If I travel (First time). And i am working as a condsultant.
    Can you help me what all things i should take care of while travelling.
    Is is risky to go India in this season for stamping?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You need to carry information related to:
      – your project
      – your client
      – your employer
      – how your employer controls your day to day activities etc

      It is always a risk when going to India for stamping, especially when you are working in EC or EVC model.

  41. Raj

    Hi There,

    This seems to be one of the best sites which gives insight knowledge about H1 B holders with in US and travelling from their home country especially India. now i have a question , recently i have joined Cognizant and also extended my visa now I’m going to India on a vacation and also stamping the visa in Hyderabad, what do you think about the visa re-stamping and Port of entry? Please let me know ASAP to plan the trip accordingly.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Carry documents related to:
      – your profile (resume)
      – your H-1 (797, I-129)
      – your employer (contact information; as it’s a big employer info about employees, wage reports etc can be avoided)
      – your job (project/client/sow information)
      – your status (recent payslips, W2, bank statements)

      1. Raj

        Thanks much Saurabh, but how about the POE(Port of entry) would it be fine through Washington DC /Newark/SFO /LAX?

        Awaiting for forum reply.

        regards,
        Raj

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          It should be fine as long as you have the documents listed above. At PoE they generally ask for 797 and employer information, but it’s better to carry all the documents.

  42. rimpy sharm

    Hi I am on vacation in India and came here after three years. I am a permanent employee in US company (Small 200 employees) and was able to grant 4 months PAID vacation as I was working with them since 3 years and I took first time off to visit my home after 3 years. I am in touch with company and also helping my colleagues if they need any help in my absent.

    I was reading few articles if you stay long, you can be kick back to India. Is it true.
    Please help – Answers will be appreciated. Just fyi … I have H1b valid till 2012 and i have all my current slips.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If you stay out of country for long, it may give the perception that your services are not required by the employer in US. However, you are on paid vacation. So to tackle such perception you should carry proof that you were indeed on paid vacation, your leave letter approved by your manager in US and a recent letter from the company stating their intent to have your services as an employee.

      1. rimpy sharm

        Thanks Saurabh,

        Do you think I need to provide some SOLID reason why I was on vacation for so long?” I will carry salary slips, letter from company but still can they ask the reason to stay out for 4 months? Should I give them some medical reason of family member or something else?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I don’t think a very SOLID reason is required. You can let the officer know that you took a vacation after 4 months and really wanted to spend time w/ friends and family; and your employer was ok w/ it. Unless the medical reason is a true reason, one should avoid giving false statements during interview.

          1. rimpy sharm

            Just visited JFK after 4 months of vacations. Officer was very cool, he just asked my designation, that’s it. No pay slips, no I797…nothing. Thanks Saurabh for replying me. Hope my comments and experience will help someone.

  43. rose

    hi guys
    anyone can help me.
    can we travel INDIA from USA after taking immediate transfer from ESL college to some X-university for 2nd semester, after taking long break of 12months in ESL.
    already have X-university 5yrs visa and also completed 1st semester there.

    need to go INDIA urgently……………………. i will have transfer I-20 of X-university in next month and travel INDIA in NOV… so is there any chances of problem related to transfer of college at AIRPORT ENTRY.
    PLS SOME ONE HELP ME OUT

  44. shreekant Deshpande

    Dear friends,
    I have been applying for H1B visa stamping. I have completed PhD from CDRI in Oct 2010. and after 5months I have joined one college in April2011 for teaching however which is not mentioned in DS-160 due to partial employment. In this concern if they ask for A/C statement, may I show the old A/c which was handling at the time of PhD?
    And is there any requirement to have good amount of money in the a/c while showing a/c statement
    Please help me in this regard
    thank you

  45. suhas

    Hi,

    I am on H1-B visa and I came on vacation to india and planning to go back in two weeks. I am just wondering are there any issues at the port of entry recently. Could any one please advise?

    Thanks,
    Suhas.

  46. Rajkamal

    Hi kumar,
    This is a very great site and I simply love it. Keep up this good work. 🙂 . I just started following your site a couple of days ago and it has an immense resources on what to and what not to do in the US. It’s a good resource for people who want to know what to expect after going to the US. Superb. I will keep in touch and ask as many doubts to you as possible (if that is ok with you).

    Thanks
    Rajkamal

  47. Rajkamal

    Hi Kumar,
    You are the admin for this site and you have written this page right? Please do not allow these kind of degrading comments on Indians. Saw what Sam has said, he just called Indians as “slaves”. Seriously, this is an open forum and one must have sense and write only what is allowed. Kindly remove that post from this page.

    Thanks
    Rajkamal

  48. Rajkamal

    SAM,
    You are the most selfish Indian I’ve ever seen. Dont call yourself an Indian, it’s a shame to the rest of the community. why are you so self centered and do not want Indians to come to the US? Indians are an important part of the US economy. Every sixth person in the world is an Indian. And moreover, you yourself are a NRI and you comment on Indians like this. Yo are so mean. We will not go home. You just wait. We will show we are worth more than you bunch of self centered sloths sitting there and eating donuts.

Leave a Comment

Comments Policy :
  • Comments are to drive conversation, add your thoughts, experiences, ask questions!
  • Do NOT write hate speech, swear words, or get into fight. Maintain etiquette
  • Enter your Name, valid Email, URL(optional - Facebook, LinkedIn profile URLs).
  • Your email will NOT be published. Do NOT post any phone numbers, email-ids
  • Do NOT post any links from other websites, unless official sites, University websites.
  • By submitting your comment, you agree to Term and Conditions of our website.