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 : 405 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.

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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.


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

   

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Comments ( 405 )

  1. Pooja

    Hi Saurabh,

    Will there be any risk at port of entry while travelling in H4 from India with approved H1B petition(H1B not stamped).
    Will the immigration officer can find that the person has an approved H1B?
    If they ask a question about it,what we have to tell?

    1. Vikram Krishna

      Hello Pooja,

      My spouse is in same situation and I did enough home work to conclude a person with valid H4 stamp can very well enter US, but the current H-1B will be void.

      I will let Mr.Saurabh answer, if you have any more questions surrounding it.

      Thanks,
      Vikram

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Pooja,

      It is ok to enter US on H-4 visa even if you carry an approved H-1 petition. Obviously, your status will be H-4 and you cannot work on H-1 until you enter US on H-1B visa or file COS from H-4 to H-1.

  2. Vikram Krishna

    Saurabh,

    I hold H1 since Aug 2014 valid till Jul 2017 and my spouse has her H4 visa stamping till July 2017.

    In Apr 2015 we applied her H1 and got approved to work from Oct 2015. However she has not worked till date and her employer never mentioned about running pay roll.

    Now I got my I-140 approved and planning to move her from H1 to H4 EAD.

    1) Since she has not started working, according to USCIS is she on H-1B or H4?

    2) Since we dint run any pay roll, what can happen if we try changing her H1 to H4? Any denials. Her recent I-94 will have H-1B on it?

    3) Even if no denial, will there be any issues in long term for her GC etc?

    Thanks in advance,
    Vikram

  3. Parneet

    My H1b visa is valid till Feb 2017. I came to my home country in 2014 as my mom was sick. I am still in my country taking care of my parents. My dad went for knee replacement during my stay which bounded me to stay back. Now they are doing fine and I planning to return to my job in US. Will there be any issues at immigration?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Parneet,

      Do you plan to return and work for same employer? Are they willing to hire you on H-1 in US? If the answer to both questions is Yes, then it should be ok. Carry a recent letter from employer mentioning their intent to hire you in US etc. Also carry payslips from the time you were inside US. If asked about the delay, you can respond truthfully about the family needs.

      1. Parneet

        Yes, Saurabh

        My H1b is still valid for the same company. He is my direct client and he is the one who applied for my H1B. Yes, they are happy to have me back. They know my family problems well.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Parneet,

          Yes, she can apply for your GC. If you were born in India then this sibling based GC could take several years to come.

          1. Parneet

            Hi Saurabh

            Thank you for your answers.
            One last question, which come first the GC applied from your siblings or GC applied from your company?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Parneet,

            If employment based GC is EB-3 India, then either could arrive first. If it is EB-2, then employment based GC would be faster than sibling based. But this could change as backlogs vary every year.

  4. Jagadesh

    Hi Friends,

    Don’t believe Ardent Technologies INC, this is cheated consultancy for H1B. This consultancy having branches in India.
    From India Subba Ancha(91-7702840596), From USA Jasti point of contact persons. Recently one incident happened, Recently some persons travelled to USA, in the board of entry immigration people are questioned about ardent and immigration team tried to call ardent technologies people but ardent not responded and those people again came back to india, and also whatever given documents those are fraud. So dont believe these stupid people.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I’m on F1 visa on OPT employed with a reputable company. I graduated in Summer 2015.
    My EAD card:
    1) Valid from 9/15/2015
    2) Card Expires 9/14/2015
    This is my FIRST OPT.
    Started working on OPT: 11/9/2015
    My H1B is being currently processed by my employer.

    I’m going to Bharat from Aug 11 to Sept 8
    Purpose: Life event (I’m getting married)

    Out of all the possibilities I’m considering these two scenarios:
    Assumtion: Stem extention rule is valid and I get it approved for myself.

    Poosibility 1:
    My H1B is NOT approved. My stem extention would possibly start from Sept 15, 2016. QUESTION1: Are there any problems in this case? If yes, then what could make my case stronger?

    Poosibility 2:
    My H1B is approved. Now when I enter US they will see:
    1) I’m F1 visa on OPT
    2) I’ve STEM extension after my OPT period ends
    3) I’ve H1B visa from Oct1.

    QUESTION2: Are there any problems in this case? If yes, then what could make my case stronger?

    QUESTION3: Keeping all this in mind when is the best time to apply for stem extenstion? (Stem extention rule is effective from May 10th, 2016 )

    NOTE:
    1) If the risk can be reduced substantially then I’m willing to reduce my stay by two weeks i.e. I’ll go to US on Aug 21
    2) The travel cannot be cancelled in any case.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anonymous Coward,

      I assume you don’t need to get F-1 visa stamped.

      Possibility 1:
      In this case COS from F-1 to H-1 will be abandoned if you leave US while H-1 is pending. You will remain on F-1 status even after H-1 gets approved and will be dependent on your OPT extension to continue to work. You will have to file separate COS from F-1 to H-1 or enter US on stamped H-1 visa.

      Possibility 2:
      Your re-entry to US will not be at disadvantage b/c of approved H-1 petition. You can apply your H-1 w/ PP, so that you get clarity on your H-1 soon and can then decide to either file for OPT extension or not. You will be eligible for cap-gap which would allow you to work through Sep 30 after which your H-1 will kick-in. It will also eradicate scenario #1 from the play.

      What about the dependent? Does s/he need a visa as well?

  6. xyz_kumar

    Hi,
    I want to share my experience where I was sent back to India from Chicago Port Of Entry. I’m writing this because still I’m not sure what made them to send me back.
    Here is my journey started on 22 Feb 2016 from Bangalore to Chicago via Doha in Qatar Airlines.
    Once I reached Chicago some Security Officers were guiding where Non Immigrant Visa(H1b) Holders should stand in line for Immigration. As I have one more connecting flight to catch from Chicago I dint get fresh up even though i journeyed for long 20 hours I directly stood in Immigration line. There Officers were driving people to different counters depends on the availability and members waiting at respective counters.
    I was guided to go in the queue of one of the counters were already 2 or 3 people were there before me.
    As I know Immigration is more or less equally Important similar to that of H1B Visa Stamping, As it is my first time visit to U.S.A I have slight tension but I hope for the best that my immigration and customs will be cleared and can board the domestic flight to a city in Texas. I also observed some of the people facing officers sitting at other counters and my counter.
    Finally My turn came to face Immgration Officer(Port of Entry Officer or CBP Officer) where he asked my name, purpose of visit and who is your employer, what do you do for the employer and who is your current Employer. After I answered to these questions I felt like he told me to keep my fingers on the Biometric reader for verification. After I placed my right hand 4 fingers he told me to stand near to glass which is little ahead of the counter without handover my passport to me and he told one officer will route me for next steps. By this time I understood that something dint went smooth. But I’m confident that I will get through as I have all the valid documents along with client letter whom I gonna work for. Later I was guided to a small hall were already around 40 people are there including families with kids, some came on student Visa and couple of old people were also there. On seeing them I felt more confident that most of them they are directing to this hall and all gonna be well. for every 10 to 15 mins around 2 people were joining into that hall accompanied with some security the way we came to that hall. There is one notice in the hall where it is written “no usage of cell phones here” and if any one found using they r capturing it and asking them to collect while leaving. So it means Officially we are not suppose to use our mobiles for any reasons. Here CBP officers were calling persons name and ask them to accompany into a room. Until I went into a room I was not aware that here people are evaluating all the documents in detail including the mobile phones. In fact the word Interrogation will best suit for it which is similar to the way we see in English Movies.(Its like serious oral discussion)
    In the evaluation room 3 other officers evaluating people like me also there.
    The Officer allotted to me is a lady officer where each officer sits in front of a computer and we will be seated beside to the computer in such a way that we cant see anything in the computer. Now I was started asking with questions like Name, Fathers Name and H1B Visa date, Employer which is sort of general questions. When I answered my Employer name she started saying that Employer doesn’t have good reputation saying they don’t have proper clients and they will make us sit in bench till we get proper client and all. Also she is asking for the documents like I-797, Client letters, LCA e.t.c
    I showed all the documents which ever she asks and she told like all documents are proper but these employer will make all these documents without having proper client.
    I told like my employer is genuine and has a valid client where couple of them already started working for the client from my Employer office Location. Also they sponsored my H1B Visa and I will be paid right from the first day. But she keeps insisting the same. here I put a question to officer, if my employer is not genuine why dint they reject my visa at the time of Visa Stamping day. For that she dint reply anything and asked me what time I will reach destination. I replied its at early morning 1:30 A.M. She told how will manage to reach the address.
    I told I will go to Guest House address and I have a Point of Contact details as well. then she told call him, then I removed my emergency contact details paper from my wallet and asked her to dial. She refused to do so from phone other than main and said that I have to dial from my own. As my phone is switched off I switched on it till that time she dint take phone from me. Once I entered my phone password and once I was about to dial the point of contact she took the phone from me and asked me to wait outside.(Its like she used a trick to take my phone after entering the login password).
    I waited for 1 hour in same old hall and was called inside.

    This time the officer who called me is short Guy. generally the Officers there are tall. As soon as I entered into the room I was asked to sit on the chair and i tried to sit on the chair by dragging it into my comfortable position, but the officer told to sit in the way the chair is kept. here I thought he is little arrogant and sat in the same way he told. He again put same questions what ever earlier officer asked and he told like he has got some proof from my mobile gmail application that I have sent my resume for some of the opening in U.S.
    He stated that just sending resume to any other client means they are offering a job for me and as per Immigration rules I or my employer involved in marketing of my resume and I was told like my chances of going to Destination is Zero.
    Now he told me he will ask some questions and i should say only true and he will enter the same in computer. if they feel its not true they will ban me from entering into u.s for 5 years and will put me in prison for 2 days.
    he asked some genreral questions and I replied.
    one question he asked is at the time visa interview in the documents it is mentioned tentative date of travelling to U.S is within 1 month and you came after 3 months. I replied saying I thought I can buyout my current companies 3 months notice period to 1 month, But Company dint accept for Buyout and asked to serve entire three months of Notice Period and during this 3 months I took 1 week leave due to sick , so they extended my notice period to 3 months and 1 week. For that the office had written answer in the computer As “I took 1 week leave due to this my company had extended my notice period to 3 months and 1 week.
    Like this he written all the answers in the computer which ever he is comfortable and ask me to sign on the papers by saying if i sign i will go now back to India in the same flight which I came and this also means that I’m voluntarily applied for withdrawn of my visa which I came to U.S.
    Officer also told like if i sign I can come to U.S with new Visa(In my mind I thought I wont come to u.S at all).
    If i wont sign I have to stay in Jail for 2 days and they will ban me entering to U.S for 5 years.
    With no other option I have to sign on all the pages of the document(here in 1st page all general information is there where he allowed me to read and from second page on wards he dint allow me to read anything and asked me only to sign on the papers or else he told i will loose flight for today and I have to stay for 1 more day.)
    before signing he brought bottle of mineral water for me as if he is much concern.
    During this threatening questions he once asked Do you want to speak to Indian Lawyer, instead of Indian Embassy, I told no(Thinking that how will i get Indian Lawyer through phone and also fear that I may have to stay in custody).
    Finally I came to know through officer that I have signed to withdraw my application for admission withdrawn and eventually I got stamping on my visa saying VISA CANCELLED WITH PREJUDICE pursuant to 22 CFR 41.122(h)(3)/(4) of the INA.
    He delayed all this process and make me wait for 1 day for cross questioning.
    and finally I was boarded back to Bangalore with my own expenses on the next day for the same flight which I came.

    1. Kanwar

      From what I understand it looks like you got your H1b through one of those fake consultancies. And I am relieved and happy to see that now Immigration is cracking down on these cases. I hope they reject all these fake visas.

    2. Sameer

      Hi Mr XYZ_Kumar,
      It is shocking to know about ordeal. But for the benefit of fellow aspirants, can you pl share some more details about your employer sponsoring H1B visa. This is just to know if it was from a not so well company which resulted in denial for entry in your case.

    3. Raj

      It will be good to share employer name. If the employer is fake they should not have stamped your visa rather sending back with visa cancelled .
      Did you contact your employers attorney ?
      did you take any action against your employer ?

    4. Nero

      Dear XYZ_Kumar,

      You should publicly announce that Employer/ Company name. That way you will help many other people not to suffer the same experience.

      Regards,
      ~Nero

      1. sam

        Hi

        For any company visa status search in this website.

        How many visa processed successfully and rejected
        How many green card processed successfully and rejected

        http://www.myvisajobs.com/Search_Visa_Sponsor.aspx?N=

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          sam,
          That is just the LCAs rejected or accepted by DOL…USCIS does not give out that data on how many were rejected or approved for a company

  7. sunil

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got H1B visa stamping in India. I am planing to travel in 1st week of April 2016 to New Jersey. As i’m hearing lot of issues at POE, little bit worried. Whilw stamping in India my case gone through 221g white slip with Additional administration process.
    In interview they asked me about project details and MSA (Master service agreement) between client and employer. At that time I didn’t have have the document, so issued 221g.
    But later they didn’t ask any document to process my visa. I got visa stamped with out submitting single document.
    Here are my questions..
    1) How difficulty the POE (Sucess rate) .
    2) Will they ask anything regarding 221g which was given in visa interview.
    3) I am planing to travel through Abu dhabi. So I heard that POE will done in Abu dhabi. Is it true?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sunil,

      1. I don’t know of any major H-1B PoE issues. The ones reported earlier were all for F-1 and that too for 2 particular schools. So don’t worry much about it. This particular article is in reference to events that happened back in 2010.

      2. They don’t ask about 221g (but if they want, they can). Typical questions include who is employer, what is your salary, where will you work, who is your client etc.

      3. Yes, that is correct. I would consider it as a blessing. PoE lines at US airports can be quite long but they would be much faster at Abu Dhabi.

      1. sunil

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for your answer. I have one more doubt in above scenario regarding 3rd question.
        PoE in Abu dhabi is okay.. But what will be the PoE timings..

        My travel will start early hours in India and reach Abu dhabi at 08:30 AM IST.
        So can I expect 100% PoE there?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          sunil,

          Look at this. Although it hasn’t been updated in a while, it can give you an idea of how long the PoE wait would be.

          If you are referring to PoE success, then it wouldn’t change b/w Abu Dhabi and a US airport.

  8. Ram

    Hi Saurabh or friends,

    Right now I am on H1B issued under VA state. Recently I got another contract in Atlanta and moved here. My employer has already initiated for new LCA and amendment. I got H4 done for my wife and kids at the time of my H1 Stamping only.

    I am planning to travel to India in the month of May 2016 to bring them here. I have been hearing about some speculation about the risk involving while coming back to US at PoE. My questions are

    1. Am I required to come back to VA or I need to book ticket to my new place i.e. Atlanta ?

    2. Is it really safe travelling at this juncture as lot of rumors are spread across that deporting at PoE without any proper reason and not at our fault.

    Would appreciate your quick reply.

    Regards,
    Ram

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ram,

      1. You can return to Atlanta.

      2. Ad-hoc deportation will not impact you. I don’t know any genuine H-1B cases that were deported and haven’t heard any recent F-1 deportations as well (except for the ones earlier this year).

      Check w/ your attorney if you can travel while amendment is pending, and if you can return to US on amendment receipt and previous approval notice.

  9. Chinni

    I have New H1B Visa, I haven’t travelled to US yet. I have my LCA posted for location say New Jersey, Employer wants me to fly for his head office
    location in Atlanta. Now I need to travel to different LCA Location.

    Is this makes any problem when POE?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Chinni,

      It is recommended that you first entry to US is the location mentioned in the LCA. However, you are entering at employer’s location. So if the reason is that you will stay w/ employer to do some initial formalities and then travel to client site, then it is ok. You can mention the same to PoE officer if asked.

      Remember, if you work at any other location beside what’s there in LCA, you need to get new LCA and H-1 amendment done.

  10. ash

    Hi,
    I am a h1b visa holder and I am schedule to travel on 28th Jan .I havent been to US before .Is it possible for me to travel to travel to Singapore for a short trip before I travel to US.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      ash,
      You can travel anywhere you want. There are no restrictions. Just respond clearly if asked about recent trips.

  11. Shobha

    Hi all,

    I am in a situation with lot of confusion. your Advice will help.
    I am working with current Company A which had sponsored my H1B. it is valid till Sep 2016. I went to US, SFO on June 2014 and returned back on Dec 2014 to India. Company A did not give any Paystubs, but paid my Indian Salary and gave per-diem for the duration of stay from June 2014 till Dec 2014. So i do not have any US paystub. But i have indian Salary Paystubs during that period.
    Now a Consultant B – Small consultant has offered me a Job to the same location SFO with Client Letter and also transferred my H1 B to the Company B. I have resigned from Company A and serving the notice period.
    I am travelling to SFO during May end
    Clarification required on below
    1) Will there be any issue at SFO port of entry since i do not have US pay stubs of Company A during my previous stay.
    2) If Company A has revoked my First H1. will this cause an issue at POE.
    3) Since the Company B is small but has got valid client letter to work in SFO. will this cause any issues at SFO port of entry since H1B transferred to comany B.
    4) If Company A has not revoked and the H1 is still valid. Can i use that H1 to enter US.

    your urgent response will be appreciated highly to decide my future course of action. I am in complete deli-ma Please help on this regard

    Shobha

  12. kaptan1234

    What crap is this article man?
    Are you nuts?
    Instead of dwelling into the causes that have lead to deportation, you are talking about not visiting home country?

    I am on H1-B and visited my home country 2 times in last one year.
    I had been to Mexico too.

    If you have a valid i-797 with 2 paychecks that is more than enough.

    1. ranch31

      Hi kaptan1234
      we are on H1 & h4, got the visas stamped and they are valid till Sept 2016. Planning to go to mexico. is the stamped visa enough to enter mexico? What other docs need to be carried to re-enter back into US ?

      thank you !

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      kaptan1234,
      Read the opening line in the article which states that it was written in 2010 about the immigration environment at that time. Don’t judge the article in today’s world.

  13. anul

    Hi
    I am on h4 with visa extension expiring in sept 2015. I have to go to india, but I am worried that abt stamping and reentering USA. Will I get stamping for sucha short duration? and if i get it, will there be problem at re entry ie port of entry? Please suggest

  14. Shailesh Rao

    Hi Naveen,

    I have a query regarding my dependents H4 visa. They were here till Jul 2014 with me. Later they went back to India. Now my H1 visa will expire on Aug 2015 and I will apply for extension next month (Feb 2015). Thing is, can my family travel to US in the month of April or May 2015 even if my H1 visa is under renewal process. Will there be any risk involved for them to travel.

    Note: H4 visa is also valid till Aug 2015

  15. Manish

    Hi All,

    I am on H4 but my H1B is approved, consultant filed for H1B when I was out of US now I am in USA on H4.

    Consultant is telling me to go out and while coming back just request immigration officer to put me on H1B by showing him approval notice.

    Is this possible?

    1. pavan

      Hey manish,

      did you went out of states to get stamp for H1B ? i am in the same page of you, could you please share more of your experience.

  16. Shiv

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got H1b stamped in April 2014 and is valid till Aug 2016. I have not yet used it (didn’t go USA) for some personal reasons and i cannot go till july 2015. Can i go at that time? Will there be any problem at POE?. Please advise.

  17. Mounika

    Hi Saurabh,

    Last year my h1b visa stamping got rejected and came to USA on h4 stamping. After coming here, I applied for a new H1 visa on cap exemption and it got approved. I am now working for a client on H1 visa since March 2014. I woul like to go to India for a month and definitely I must go to h1 stamping again as I am currently on h4 stamping.
    What are the chances of getting successful h1 stamping? Is it safe for me to go to India as I already got rejected once.

    Appreciate your suggestion.
    Thanks!!

    1. senthil ganesan

      Hi Monika,

      Similar to your previous situation.I am in H4 entered US on 11 July.I need your help to convert my H4 VISA into H1.Could you guide me on the process and any known employer please.

      Regards,
      Senthil

  18. sam

    Hi,

    I have H-1 valid visa from previous employer(it is valid up to Dec 2016).. recently i have changed my employer(new H-1 expiration date is 2017). I am planning to go to india in the month of December 2104.. so , i just want to know about the VISA validity information .. If am going to india in December.. is it must to attend a VISA interview again( because of Change of employer).. or any suggestions..

    Thanks,
    Sathish kati

    1. Abha Sharma

      Sathish,

      As per my knowledge, you could travel back to USA with the combination of old H1B visa (ACTIVE) and new H1B approval notice. In your case your visa from previous H1B employer is valid upto Dec 2016 so as long as you return before said date you should be good. Please verify.

      Source:
      imminfo.com/Library/niv/temporary_work_visas/travel_previous_h_visa.html
      immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1-visa-transfer-faq.html

      Thanks,
      Abha

  19. Sudhir

    Hello All,

    Can any one help me on below ?

    I got an offer from a consultant in India who has tie ups with US company.

    He mentioned that “B1 in lieu H1B ” Visa will be arranged for me which will be valid for 5 years. They took my passport, Photo & ID proof copies. Also, he mentioned that there would be back-end jobs for which my Graduation and job exp letters/certificates are not required.

    I would like to know if this is the correct process to acquire B1 in lieu H1B visa ?
    Also, will I be able to apply H-1 Visa during my stay in US ?
    Can I apply for jobs in US based on by IT exp in India ?

    Please help me on this…

    Thanks
    Sudhir

  20. Sudhir

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got an offer from a consultant in India who has tie ups with US company.

    He mentioned that “B1 in lieu H1B ” Visa will be arranged for me which will be valid for 5 years. They took my passport, Photo & ID proof copies. Also, he mentioned that there would be back-end jobs for which my Graduation and job exp letters/certificates are not required.

    I would like to know if this the correct process to acquire B1 in lieu H1B visa ?

    Also, will I be able to apply H-1 Visa when I reach USA ?

    Please help me on this…

    Thanks
    Sudhir

  21. Jai

    Hi,,

    Recently my H1B got approved and in my LCA, work location is mentioned as New York. but my employer wants me to report at Chicago office for first few weeks Hence he asks me to get down at Chicago airport from India.

    Now my question is in case if I tell this reason to officers at the time of port entry, will they accept? By any chance will they ask like why you are coming to chicago and you are not authorized to come to chicago?

    Could you please clarify my doubt and give me your inputs please?

    1. Cowboy

      You will be in deep trouble, if you travel to different location than what is mentioned in LCA. If employer wants you to come to Chicago he needs to get newLCA for Chicago and apply for amendment.

  22. Babu Rudeboy

    Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$. madar chod! We don’t need incompetent gora hating slumdog cheap labor in the US!

  23. Raveendran

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have H1 visa valid till july 30,2015 from my current employer. I am planning to change my company and i am going to get h1 transfer soon. Suppose if i want to go to india before july 30,2015, do i have to go for stamping again to get the new visa date in passport and can i enter US with the old one. Pls let me know.

    1. Suman

      Hi ,

      If your Visa is valid till 30th 2015 , Then you need not to go for Visa Stamping .
      Visa is travel document and depending on Visa validaty you are allowed and denied to enter United state.

      Apply for i129 Transfer and carry new approval copy , that would be suffecient .

    1. Suman

      You are entitled to travel till your H1 Visa is valid . Hope you have i129 Aproval copy . If this is a new transfer case TO oraginally applid H1Vi sa Then keep a letter from new sponsor company , requeting Immgration officer to allow you to work in USA Location .

      In your case there is no restrication and you can travel .

  24. Abi

    Hi,

    I am employed with one of the India’s top IT consulting company. I have a valid H1B visa till Oct 16, 2014. My H1B petition was approved only for 1 year. I am planning to go to India from July 18 till Aug 10, 2014. There will be close to 2 months left for my H1b visa and I94 expiry. My company has started the process for I94 extension but that might be filed with USCIS in September. Can there be any issue at POE provided all my H1 b visa related documents are in place ?

    1. Suman

      No Issue , You can travel for same client and location any time any no of times till you Visa and I129 is valid .

      If you are planning for new client and new location make sure you apply for transfer once you are entered in the united states . Other wise once H1B transfer is submitted and you are out side USA , you entry may be Issue .

  25. Partha

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have H1B visa and it is stamped till 2016, but i haven’t used it yet.My Employer is an indian company. Because of personal reasons
    I have to shift to my hometown, my company has no office there and so i have to leave from the company.
    If I leave my company, can I use that H1B from the new company i want to join in my hometown? Is there any chance
    to cancel my petition by the old company?In case they cancel my petition ,can I use that stamping for the new company?

    Thanks
    Partha

  26. Naveen

    Hi Saurabh ,

    My Wife is in Los angels with H1B status, but she is not well , because of pregnancy. So company moved her to bench . She can’t stay in bench more than next 2-3 weeks. So she needs to resign. I will reach there next week and join with her. But if she resigns , is it possible her to be with me for next 2 months(She has H1B but then she will be out of work , because she will resign). I am in H1b status with Job. Because of medical problem she can travel only after next 2 months. Is there any solution for this ?

    Thanks,
    Naveen

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Naveen,
      She should talk to an immigration lawyer immediately about this. Here are my thoughts:
      1. The company cannot let her go for medical reasons related to pregnancy. This would be discrimination and against labor laws.
      2. She can take a voluntary leave from the company and be in US. She would need prescription and medical report which says that she cannot work. She may also be eligible for disability benefits.

      She should talk to immigration lawyer (to know about her legal status) and labor lawyer (to know her rights as a pregnant woman and disability benefits).

      Lots of lawyers provide first half-hour consultation free, so she can try those attorneys (start the search on yelp). There is also a site called avvo where you can post the question and real lawyers provide advice (not sure if it is paid or not).

      Which state is your wife in? Did you get your H-4 or B-1/2 visa?

  27. Naveen

    Hi Saurabh,
    Please reply urgently for the following query if you can.Any one else have clear idea about this they can also give suggestions.
    I have H1B visa , it is stamped almost 2 months back and not used yet. My wife(H1B) is recently went to United States California from an Indian Employer and just reached there. She is not well (first day itself )and staying alone in Hotel . So I want to go there urgently to take care her. Is there any option to do this?

    Thanks
    Naveen

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Naveen,
      You can appear for H-4 visa stamping and then travel to be with your wife on dependent visa. You can use your H-1 visa only if your H-1 employer wants you to travel to US and work for them on H-1.

      1. Naveen

        Hi Saurabh,

        If I apply for h4 visa, will they cancel my H1B visa?Is there any way to retain this H1B and apply tourist visa?

        Thanks
        Naveen

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Naveen,
          Yes, it is possible that they cancel your H-1B visa stamp when you appear for H-4 or B-1/2 visa. However, that is not the end of the road for H-1. You can still have a cap-exempt petition filed for you as the petition is not canceled and you can always get another H-1 visa stamp.

          H-4 is preferred as your dependent is already in US and has a good chance of approval when compared to B-1/2.

  28. Narain

    Hi All,

    I have my H1B VISA for location in Oregon. I want to know that is it possible for me to travel for another location first e.g. New York to visit a family member and then travel to my work location a few days later? Is there any issue?

    Mine is a fresh application and this is the first time I will b e traveling to the USA.

    Thanks,
    Narain

    1. Raghu

      Narain,
      You can visit your relatives first and then you can go to your work location. But you have to tell the CBP officer that you will be going to work location not to visit relatives.

  29. senthilkumar

    Hi Saurabh,
    Now I’m in US . My H1b visa got expired on 30-jun-2013. But i have my petition valid upto 2015. I plan to come India for vacation on 23-dec-2013 and plan for stamping . is there possibility of rejection can happen?

    1. Andy

      Senthil,
      I have never seen anybody saying that it happened to me or my cousin or my friend. Why it always I heard from somebody. Why not somebody post anything? All seems to be wrong information. As long as you have all the paper work, nobody’ll stop you at port of entry. I’m traveling outside the country almost every 8-9 months and have not faced any problem yet. I’m working on EVC model and still on H1-B visa since oct 2008.

      Hope this helps you.

      -Andy

      1. Manohar

        Hi Andy,

        Thanks for your comment in this site. your answer for port of entry issues gave me Energy. I was worrying about H1B Travel. Thanks alot.

        Thanks,
        Manohar.

      2. RAJEEV GANGADHARAN

        Hi Andy Or “Anyone who’s been through my Situation Below”,

        I came to US on H1B with My Wife in Nov 2006, with a Regular H1 B – 03 Years visa stamped on my Passport, extendable up to 06 Years. Then after 2 -1/2 years in 2009, I went to India on vacation and got back without any hassle as my stamped Visa was still valid. Since then i have not traveled to India.

        Now I’m planning to go in April 2016, and there in India I’ll have to go to US Consulate again for Interview to Renew the Stamp/Visa on my Passport. I’ll be taking All the Required Documents, including Last 03 Pay stubs, W-2 Form, letter from my Company approving my vacation etc. Now QUESTION, in this situation is there any chance of US Consulate ( or US Port of Entry ) REJECTING/ CANCELLING my H1B Visa in spite of being legally employed in the US and also carrying all above mentioned Required Documents ?

        Anyone please advise ??

        Thanks,

        Rajeev

  30. Amit

    Hi Sourabh,

    My travel date is 5 Oct and expecting new location LCA by 4th Oct.
    In case I don’t receive it by 4th due USA government shutdown…then what option do I have?

    Should I still travel without LCA or is there any alternative for LCA in this situation of DOL shutdown?

    Please reply

    1. syed

      Hi Amit,

      I also applied for LCA transfer from florida to phoenix. on 24th September got the confirmation mail for lca request received on 25th September. expecting it to be soon…,but now I came to know that USA shutdown is going on.So will they process my LCA?

  31. th

    Sad that a website as well known as redbus2Us is propagating “not travelling”.

    How about propogating “not falsifying documents”.

    Seriously.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Th,
      How about reading the opening sentence of the article “Article written in January, 2010. The below information is for your reference only, it does not apply to current year visa conditions.”

      Seriously!

  32. DJ

    Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B processed through company A and will expire in Oct 2013. I haven’t travelled to US yet. If i quit company A and join company B without travelling through company A and my visa expires, will i be eligible for cap exempt petition through company B?

    Appreciate your response.

    Regards

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      DJ,
      Yes, B can still file for cap-exempt petition for you using A’s petition. Make sure to keep a copy of A’s approved petition for this purpose.

  33. Mila

    Hi,

    I have my current H1 and my Spouse’s H4 valid till Jan 2014. And I am planning to visit India this year from Aug 23 to Sep 15 2013.

    – Is it better for me to start processing my H1 extension before or after my visit?
    – Also do I have to file for my Spouse’s H4/I94 extension after the visit. If yes, what would be the procedure?

    Thanks in Advance,
    Mila

  34. Neha

    I have my H1B visa stamped till 13th June 2013 and May company has started the process of filing extension.
    I might have to go to India in May, Can I come back with the same stamp before June or I have to get it re-stamped?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Neha,
      You can return on the same visa stamp as long as it has not expired. Note that your I-94 extension will be abandoned if you leave US while the extension is pending. You will have to file for I-94 extension after returning to US unless the extension petition gets approved prior to your return.

  35. Ravi

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have currently visa stamping validity in passport till Aug 2013.

    I am planning vacation on May to India and would like to appear for stamping again since I have H1B till 2015.

    My question is if new H1B stamping gets denied on Consulate,
    Is my existing Visa validity till Aug holds good and I can enter US with that
    or
    Will that also expire and I can’t re enter US with that?

    Thanks,
    Ravi

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ravi,
      You can return on the existing visa stamp as long as it has not expired or canceled as part of your other stamping rejection.

    2. Dinesh

      Ravi,

      I am in the same boat as you. I have a valid H1B visa until 2015 with previous employer but received a 221g when I appeared for visa stamping for new employer. Case is currently under administrative processing. Can I enter USA using my previous H1 visa?

      Your help would be GREATLY appreciated.

      Thanks,
      Dinesh.

  36. Nandini

    Hey,

    I have a H1-B Visa stamp valid till 2015 And I was working in San Francisco, CA. I came to India for 2 weeks in February. But, I forgot to bring my work permit (I797) with me. What are the documents required at the time of re-entering and would scanned copy in my email would work? I have a flight back to US in 12 hours.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nandini,
      If you can ask someone to FedEx the original, it will be better. Else, it may work w/ the photo copy as well at PoE. I once went through the line and they just looked at the passport and visa stamp and didn’t ask for 797. Also, carry a recent employment letter from employer stating that your job is still valid and they expect you to join them in US.

    2. Venkata Suneel

      HI Nandhini,

      I saw your question regarding the 797. I am also having the same issue. Did they asked for the original 797 at the time of POE? Please reply me..

      Thanks
      Suneel Krishna

  37. SHWETA

    SHWETA

    SAURAV,
    I am in US on H1B visa from compay A and have changed company to B. The visa has been transferred to company B. Now, I am planning a trip to India and come back, do I need to get the visa stamped again ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Shweta,
      You are not required to get another visa stamp as long as the previous visa stamp has not been canceled in the passport and is still unexpired.

      1. Yogesh

        But in above scenario, (shweta’s), We need employer B stamp on passport, so to get the stamp we need to go to US consulate in India. There they may reject the H1B?

        How shall I enter USA with stamp of employer A on passport and I am working for employer B?
        Saurav can you please clear my doubt?

        Thanks,
        Yogesh

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yogesh,
          It is not required to have B’s visa stamp in the passport as long as A’s stamp is still valid and has not expired. There are people who have done this in the past. Do you know a case where person was returned back from PoE b/c they had A’s visa stamp and B’s petition?

  38. Naveen

    Saurabh,

    I have a valid F1 visa , valid OPT stem extension until mid 2014.
    I will be applying for H1B (premium) this april.

    Is it safe to travel after during May/June after H1B approval? Any thoughts/suggestions is much appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Naveen,
      If you travel while your H-1 is pending, then USCIS will abandon the COS from F-1 to H-1. So even after the petition gets approved, you will remain on F-1/OPT until you enter on stamped H-1 visa or file a separate COS from F-1 to H-1.

    2. Raj

      you need new stamping for company B since each project need new stamping for h1b as per US immigration officer but you can take a chance with valid visa from company A and all approved documents and salary slip from company B can try to enter !!!

  39. Raja

    By all means, don’t worry about this. Any of us Indians that want to travel back to our beloved homeland, should do so whenever we want, visa or no visa. This is all a bunch of nonsense. Myself and plenty of my good friends and family, all here on visas, travel to and from our home all the time without a problem. Just book your travel, and get on the plane, and go home to visit, and be assured that you will have no problem getting back into the great U.S.A..
    🙂
    Warmest Regards my friends

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raja,
      The article was written in 2010, when H-1 visa holders were actually sent back from PoE (New York area). This was just after the passing of the employer-employee memo.

      As the opening line of the article states “Article written in January, 2010. The below information is for your reference only, it does not apply to current year visa conditions.”

  40. Sandeep

    Hi,

    I came to US on L1B in feb 2011. My employer (one of the top US IT firms) converted me to H1B starting Oct 2012. I have approval till 2015. My question is

    1. how risky is it to travel to India to get H1 stamped now? or should i wait for a while.
    2. What documents are required for stamping?

    Thanks for your help!
    Sandeep

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sandeep,
      1. Chances vary from case to case.
      2. There are articles written on the blog that detail the documents required and stamping experiences. You can search for them from the Archives link at the top.

  41. Harry

    I Have valide H1b visa till 2015 and same i94 also valid till 2015, passport valide till 2022.
    My question is –
    1) Can i travel Philipines for week ?
    2) What document i needed while i will re-enter back in USA ?

    please update.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Harry,
      1. Yes
      2. You will need your latest approved/unexpired petition, employment letter from your employer confirming their intent to continue your employment, latest payslips, passport, contact information of your supervisor etc

  42. Kashif

    Hi ,
    I am on F1 and my I-20 valid up to July 2014 and Visa valid up to July 2013. I am planning to apply for H1b this 1st April 2013 with premium processing. I want to travel back home on 13th of April 2013 for 2 weeks. I am confuse what will be the possibility that there will no problem when I come back on my Valid F1 visa. Please suggest if there is better option other then not to travel 🙂 .
    Should i
    1) Travel while H1b in processing
    2) Wait until get online approval
    3) Wait until i will receive my approve i-797 in hand, Also how long it will take to received approve i-797.
    Thanks

  43. Sekhar

    Hi saurub,
    Iam an Indian citizen,have been working in ireland till last3 mnths and applied for a h1b petetion from ireland.My visa was expired in nov ,2012 and i returned back to India.After I returned back ,my h1b petetion was approved..can I attend for h1b visa interview from India..can u please guide me towards entire process of booking slot and questions that may raise in my case.

    Thanks in advance
    Sekhar

  44. Radha

    Hi,
    Its a great forum.. I appreciate everyone for prompt and polite response.

    I have my H1 B visa valid till 2014 issued by Company A . I haven’t travel to US. I resigned Company A and Joined Company B.

    Company B wanted to Send me US. I wanted to clarify the steps that needs to be taken care from my side and company B side.

    1) I need to give my approval notice 797 copy(issued by Company A or my receipt number) to Company B. If not correct please let me know where can i get the receipt number?
    2) Now, Company B can file a cap exempted Petition. Pl. let me know if anything else is needed.
    3) Once Petition approved. I can travel to US with the approval notice from Company B and with the visa stamped for company A. Will there be any issue at POE?
    4) I do hear that i needed to go for one more stamping and i cannot travel with company A’s Visa. Please clarify this and any other points that we need to take care of.

    Thanks
    Radha

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Radha,
      1. Yes, you have to give copy of that approval notice
      2. They need to file just the cap-exempt petition
      3. There shouldn’t be any issues. Carry employment related documents for B
      4. It is not mandatory to go for another visa stamping as long as the previous visa stamp is valid. You can confirm this w/ B’s attorney as well.

  45. Purnendu Pattnaik

    This is Bullshit Article. I dont know anyone sent back, unless your credentials are doubtful and you dont know your designation and work scope.
    For ex. if you are a Java Programmer (as per your I797) and you say to CBP I am here to sell oranges probably then you are asked to return.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Purnendu Pattnaik,
      This article was written in 2010 when several people working in consulting model were sent back from NYC airport. This was soon after the employer-employee relationship memo.

      Re-read the article in that context and tell me if it is still a “Bullshit” article.

  46. Siva

    Hi,

    Thank you all for your responses.
    I have my H1B Visa ready. I haven’t travel to US yet. I have my LCA posted for location say Sunnyvale, California for one customer/client at the time of applying H1B.
    Now I need to travel to different customer/client at different location say Houston, Tx.
    And also new customer posted the LCA Today.(10 May). My higher mgmt told me to travel once we get the confirmation from USCIS not to wait for the whole 10 business days(say my travel date is 16th May). Will that be fine? Will there be an any issue if I travel?

    Appreciate your help on this

    Thanks
    Siva

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Siva,
      You should be ok to travel once the LCA has been certified by DOL and other necessities have been completed (i.e. posted on internal boards for 10 business days). In case your employer decides to cut corners and not wait until the posting end date, you may still be able to travel but it won’t be correct. I don’t think PoE officer will go into details of how long LCA was posted (as they primarily look at 797) but a clever one can look LCA filing date and do the math.

      1. Veer

        Hi Saurabh,

        I am in situation where my h1b Just got approved and not yet stamped. i am planing to quit my firm and flying back to US with my F1 status again.

        1) Am i going to count under CAP exempt even if i don’t have visa stemp i.e just on approval notification
        2) What documents i need to get before i quit so it help me to file next H1b

        if i am not counting or considering something please point me out.

        thanks for great insensitive and hard work you are doing for all of us.

        Reagards,

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Veer,
          1. Yes, you will be considered as cap-exempt
          2. You should have a copy of approval notice. If the employer is not willing to share it, then have at least the receipt number

          Are you currently enrolled in a school? I am wondering how you plan to use your F-1 visa to enter US noting that you are currently working outside US.

          1. Veer

            Yes, I am enrolled in school. i just quit job 5 days back and theres no way i can get any recepit # from them, i just know H1b has been approved. i dont know what to do now……can you guide in this situation what can i do please.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Veer,
            For cap-exempt purpose, you need to know the receipt number at least. I don’t think USCIS will provide that information to you. You can check w/ an attorney if there are any alternatives available.

          3. rjrn

            Hi Veer,
            You can get the H1-b copy in 45 to 65 days. Please file a FOIA petition with the USCIS. It’s free. You can use a form G-639 or just write a letter. I suggest you use G-639. Make sure you either notarize the document or click the box says I am providing these details under penalty or perjury. The latter is usually easier, but make sure the information stated there is accurate. It’s a permanent record and will be valid and accurate document in a later proceeding should there be any deviations elsewhere. Wait for the the receipt notice by mail. You should get the documents on a CD. If you need only the I-797A for your H1-b then just ask for that document. You will be placed in track 1 which is faster. If you request all documents on file it will take longer.

            http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=6f2a4154d7b3d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

          4. Veer

            RJRN and Saurabh,

            I thank you from bottom of my heart.
            I will post my experience soon.
            I hope i will hunt new job and file H1b Transfer before my company withdrawal it

            Veer.

          5. Veer

            Saurabh,

            I am in US now but i asked one of employer and now he is saying that since my H1b is just approved and and i came US on f1 student visa. I cant count under non CAP- so since my h1b is approved in India and not in USA he cant file my h1b under non Cap/ Transfer 🙁 in USA.

            I am in big mess seems to me i do have copy of approval ….Please any one help me

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Veer,
            You still come under non-cap. There is no special quota for applicants from outside or inside US. Every H-1 is counted similarly, and so the fact that your H-1 was approved outside US still makes you cap-exempt.

            As your current status is F-1, an employer will have to file for H-1 transfer (H-1 cap-exempt) along w/ COS from F-1 to H-1. I would suggest filing this after staying at least 60-90 days on F-1 or else USCIS can deny the COS questioning your intent of misusing F-1 visa.

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