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Sample H1B Visa Stamp in Passport, I-94 at PoE – Meaning?

After you get the H1B visa approval notice, you would apply for H1B visa stamping either for in-person or H1B Renewal using Dropbox. If you get visa approval at the US consulate, they would stick a US Visa foil or stamping sticker in your passport. In this article, we review on how the H1B visa stamp in passport looks, and what they mean.

Also, when you arrive at the US Port of Entry and go through PoE Process, you would get an I-94 issued either electronically or a paper that is like a card ( if you arrive by road), we review that sample and details as well.

Sample H1B visa stamp in Passport – Meaning?

US H1B visa foil or stamp glued in passport looks like any other typical US Visa Stamp, with the main difference of Class listed as H1B. Below is a sample H1B Visa foil stamp in the passport. Most of the fields are self-explanatory and described in detail at Sample US Visa Stamp – Fields meanings. Below are the fields that are specific to H1B Visa :

  • Visa Type / Class: This would show as R H1B. The first one is Visa Type, which is the type of visa like ‘R’ stands for ‘Regular’ and Visa Class, which you would see as ‘H1B’
  • Entries: This would usually be M, which stands for multiple
  • Expiration Date: This corresponds to the H1B Petition expiration date. Usually, it would be given until the end of the H1B petition, but at times you may get it shorter.
  • Annotation: This is the area, where you would see the details of the H1B sponsoring company and the receipt number of the H1B Petition and followed by the expiration date, which would say PED ( Petition End Date ) followed by the end date of the petition.
Sample H1B visa stamp
Sample H1B Visa Stamp in Passport

What to look out for in H1B Visa Stamp after Receiving it?

While most of the time, the details on H1B Visa may look fine. But, sometimes, there can be errors and you may need to get them correct. So, look closely for the below fields.

  • Check important personal details like Passport number, Birth date.
  • Petition Details are usually for 3 years, you should look at the Issue date and Expiration date if they match the same or not. If you have already used more than 4 years on H1B, then if you go for stamping your visa stamp will only be for the remaining two years. The overall time period for an H1B visa is typically 3 years with an extension for another 3 years to total 6 years. 
  • An entry ‘M’ indicates Multiple entries. Sometimes, you may get ‘S’, which means ‘Single
  • Check the H1B sponsoring company name and receipt number info. Also, the PED is the ‘Petition End Date’.

After you get H1B Visa stamping done at the consulate, you would use the same to enter the US at any US Port of Entry(PoE). When you enter, US Customs and Border Protection(CBP) Officer would review all the details and issue you an I-94 and also puts a stamp on your passport with CBP Location Code, that is relevant to the PoE location. Let’s look at the I-94 details below.

Sample I-94 Card issued to H1B holder at PoE

Any foreign national entering or exiting the US would be issued a form called I-94, which is nothing but the Arrival-Departure Record to track the individual. In fact, it is a legal document that indicates that you have legally entered the United States.

If you enter the US on land by road, you would be issued a paper i-94 form that looks like in the below screenshot. Otherwise, since April 2013, you would be issued an Electronic I-94 Card. There is nothing that you need to fill out if you are issued an electronic I-94. Everything is tracked online and you can check it online as well. If you were issued a physical I-94 card, you have to turn it back in when you leave the country.

If CBP systems do not work, you may be asked to fill out the I-94 form as well. In such cases, you are supposed to fill out the correct details every time at the Port of entry.  Read How to Fill I-94 Form – Arrival Departure Card USA

The I-94 process is pretty much electronic, but occasionally, you will need to fill it out manually. If you fill out a physical I-94 form, the CBP officer will tear a stub and stamp it and give it to you with H1B on it and the date until when you can stay in the US. See the below screenshot of the sample I-94 card with the H1B Visa CBP stamp on it.

I-94 Card Departure Arrival Card Sample - H1B Visa - Front Side
Sample I-94 card for H1B Visa

Along with the I-94, CBP Officer also puts a similar stamp on your passport and writes a date that tells the date until when you can stay in the country. It is the I-94 end date. It also has the CBP Port of Entry code Location code like ‘SFR’ stands for ‘San Francisco, CA’. It looks like in the below screenshot.

US CBP Code Stamp for Philadelphia - PHI
US CBP Code Stamp for Philadelphia – PHI

What to verify on I-94 given for H1B Visa?

At the port of entry, US CBP Officer will verify your passport, H1B visa stamp, and then stamp on your passport and/or I-94 card indicating the date you entered the US. The immigration officer will also indicate the US Visa status that you are entering in and the validity of your stay in the US. For H1B Visa, you would see H1B written on the stamp and also, check the end date.

Occasionally, the CBP officers make minor clerical mistakes and put in the wrong end date on I-94 and then it is a hassle to get it fixed. Check How to get I-94 Renewed or Extended in US to get an idea of the complexity. You should verify the type of visa he writes.

If the CBP officer makes a mistake, it can be an issue later when applying for Social Security Number. My cousin had an issue, where the officer put in just ‘H1’ instead of ‘H1B’, and the SSN office people create trouble and she had to go to the airport again and get it resolved. It was a mess! Do not overlook it. Also, if you are arriving on H1B, the officer will write the precise date on I-94, which should be the expiration of your H1B visa on I-797 Approval Notice.

What are your thoughts?


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  1. Could you add a few lines about what happens when you enter the port of entry with only a few months of “Older” company stamping visa left. Do you have to show your “New” company H1b?
    Is there a time limit for how many months of visa you should have during pandemic?
    Should we show the original H1 as there are only few months left on I94?
    What would the office stamp in passport stamp in entry?

    • Kisna,
      When you enter Port of entry, they will ask for valid visa and approval notice. If you have it even for few weeks, it is good enough. They may ask you for plans after the two weeks or so, then you can show that your employer will file or extension petition of h1B. The I-94 will be given until the end of validity on the H1B approval notice.

  2. I have got my h1b approved. I had traveled to usa in 1999 -2000(i was less than 18 and stayed there for about 10 to 11 months on h4 visa) but while applying h1b i didn’t share any information about it because was unable to find any information on i94 website and and my passport also got renewed thrice(i.e. told the employer and their attorney that i haven’t traveled to usa ever). I need to go for visa stamping and travel next. What should i do?

    • raj,
      You should indicate your past history, if DS-160 requests you do so. You should tell the truth to them and get guidance. Do NOT try to hide or hold information, it can create more trouble for you. Accept your mistake to attorney and tell them you do not have I-94 info or anything, so said so and correct it with them and then take their guidance.

      • How much trouble i am in? Could my visa stamping get rejected even if i just enter the correct travel details in ds 160?
        (My only travel to us was 20 years ago)

        • Raj,
          Well, frankly I do not know. If you disclose everything that they ask, then you are fine. If you are hiding any info and their system flags that there is missing info, then they can issue a 221g and complicate things. I don’t know if they retain that much of history, but irrespective of it, you should reveal the info to your attorney and be clear with them.

  3. I got an admission to university of bridgeport, I requested for an extension letter because my visa came out late but was not given. I also got admission to a college for fall. Can I use same visa to go into the us in order to honour the college admission?

    • Ahmed Kareem,
      If you have never been to US and going to US for the first time to a school, you may not be able to use the visa you got for one school to different school. You can check with DSO for confirmation.

  4. Hi,
    I got my admission,I-20, & visa stamping from the university of findlay, Ohio
    But I wanna defer my admission for summer 2015
    So what is the procedure..?

  5. i have my visa stamping done for fall 2014 sem.. i want to defer my admission to fall 2015 term.. will i have to re appear for visa next year ??
    my term start on sept 3 for fall sem

  6. Hi Saurabh,
    I had just got my h1b extnesion approved, would i get a hard physical copy i94 or will it be a e copy ?


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