Travel to USA on H1B Visa – Documents Checklist for Port of Entry (POE), Immigration, Transit

In Immigration| Visas by Kumar42 Comments

You may have completed all the pre-departure tasks for H1B Visa in your Home country and ready to leave to USA on H1B Visa. You might wonder what documents I need to carry for travel to be prepared for the Port of entry(POE) for verification/interview.

List of Documents to carry for Travel to America on H1B Visa :

  • Passport with valid H1B Visa stamping on it.
  • H1B Approval notice – Original form I-797
  • Your offer letter given by the company that sponsored your H1B Visa
  • The employee agreement that you may have signed with your H1B Sponsor
  • Experience letters related to your previous work, if any
  • Work related documents, if any, sent by your H1B Sponsor in America
  • If you have any professional licenses or certificates, you can carry them as well.
  • Your original educational degree certificates
  • If you have MS or any other degree from America, you can carry below documents
    • I20s from schools you attended
    • OPT card related to your employment before H1B Visa
    • Previous W2 forms, if you have worked on F1 Visa

Address and Contact information in USA

  • You will need the address information of where you will stay in America. You will have to fill it out in the I-94 form that you submit at the port of entry. Make sure you have the address and contact number in USA.
  • Also, you would need to carry the information of the person you are going to meet in America. It could be your manager or one of your company’s employees.
  • You may not be asked to show these documents in transit aiports, when you are have connecting flights, but it is good to have all the info.

US Port of Entry Experiences Tracker

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

Did I miss anything ? Did you carry any other documents ?

Were you asked any other set of documents ?

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Comments ( 42 )

  1. sekhar

    Hi I came to India In Sep 2016 due to my family emergency and delayed my travel working in offshore and planned to travel in Apr21st .Is there any problem in port of entry will they ask this timeline.My Visa is valid till July 2017.My employer told me he will file extension once reached to USA.
    Is there any problem in port of entry as my visa expires in 75days.

    Please suggest me what are the documents needs to carry.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sekhar,

      It should be fine. Respond truthfully and let them know that employer plan to files for extension soon after.

  2. Jhansi

    Hi

    I m first time traveling on my h1b visa. My work location is Pittsburgh, I POE will be Boston. I ‘ll be traveling to Chicago first next I ‘ll head to Pittsburgh. Will there be any issues at POE ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jhansi,
      Dont worry too much about POE. Make sure you carry all your documents and be prepared to answer questions. As long as you have everything in place and all details correct, without fraud, you should be fine. There is always the standard disclaimer, that tells admission is subject to POE and in hands of CBP officer, but nothing to panic, if you have everything correct.

  3. vivek

    Hi ,

    My LCA is Reston (Virginia) on h1b petition . So nearest airport is Washington DC.
    However , I want to land and stay in SFO to visit my close relative for 1 week.

    Is it fine if i land in SFO and after few days travel to Reston(work location). Or , this may create an issue at port of entry ?

    Thanks
    vivek

  4. sairam

    Hi I am planning to travel in mid of next week to Texas from Hyderabad.
    How is port of Entry in DFW.

    or else via abu dabhi is best.

    Could you please suggest me ehich one

  5. sai

    Hi I came to India In Sep 2016 due to my wife surgery and delayed my travel due to her health condition and planned to travel in Feb 11th via Abu dabhi.Is there any problem in port of entry will they ask this timeline.My Visa is valid till July 2017.
    My employer provided the letter to me for the port of Entry.

    Could you please let me know the answer

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sai,
      As long as you have valid visa document and not part of the banned countries, you should be fine. Don’t worry too much. Carry all the documents that your employer gave.

  6. Sathishkumar

    Hi,

    Im planning to go to india
    in March to bring my wife and kid. My flight is from Chennai -> Dubai -> Boston-> Philadelphia. I have a valid visa till 2019. My wife &a kid are traveling for the first time to US and POE would be Boston.

    What are the documents needed for me to accompany them and is it a good option to travel at this time. I am with the same employer since 2008 and recently moved to US on Oct 2016 for the same company.

      1. Mario

        Apologies that I was not clear.

        Can I use a I-797 COPY at the POE if I do not have the original.

        Also note that the employer on the visa and the I-797 are different. I would be entering the country on a new I-797.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Mario,

          Yes, you can use the copy. If they have doubts they can access USCIS system to confirm that petition’s authenticity.

          Make sure you show the new petition to the officer. In my couple of recent experience, they just asked for passport and took the receipt number from the visa stamp.

          1. Archit

            Saurabh, is it still on to show copy of I797 at POE? Also my employer in i797 is different from what is on visa.

          2. Archit

            Saurabh, is it still ok to show copy of I797 at POE? Also my employer in i797 is different from what is on visa.

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Archit,

            You will have to show both the visa and the new petition at PoE. By default they would assume employer mentioned on the visa stamp is the current employer. So you need to show them the petition to make sure that the I-94 is issued based on this 797 and old petition.

        2. Archit

          Mario, How was you experience in using I797 copy and not original at port of entry? Mine is similar case. Also my employer on visa in passport and on I797 petition are different.

  7. Eswar

    Hi,

    My H1B visa is approved in Feb’16. I planned in Jan’17 for my travel. My POE is NJ. What are any queries at POE for taking 11 months for travel. If yes what kind of answers will be feasible.. Please let me know.
    Thanks in Advance
    Eswar

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Eswar,

      Carry more recent and up to date documents. If asked about the delay, you can say that project was delayed etc.

    1. Chandra

      Hi Sudheer,

      I hope you reached Boston safely.
      Just wanted to know what where the questions asked at POE?

      Thanks & Regards,
      Satish

  8. Kaushal

    Hi,

    I am coming to USA on H1B with my wife first time and will be landing to LCA state and staying with friend who is also employee with my H1B Sponsor.

    Can I use my friend address as mine while filling form?

    I have booked one-way ticket as no airline issuing ticket beyond 10 months return at time.
    Do I need return ticket? (my visa is valid till 2017)

    I have H1B petition approve till Sep 2017 but visa issue (stamped in Passport) till Sep 2017.
    Can I stay beyond Sep 2017 (till Sep 2018) or I need to do some formalities once coming?

    Thanks in advance (& sorry for many questions)

      1. Baig

        Hi Kaushal,
        The date till you can stay in US is mentioned on your I-94 which will be issued at POE. Have you travelled already or not? Please share your POE experience.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kaushal,

      >>Can I use my friend address as mine while filling form?
      What form are you referring to?

      >>Do I need return ticket? (my visa is valid till 2017)
      H-1 visa holders are not required to book return ticket. One way ticket is fine

      >>Can I stay beyond Sep 2017 (till Sep 2018) or I need to do some formalities once coming?
      When entering US, they would issue I-94 on the basis of your 797, unless the passport is expiring earlier. You can then stay and work until 797 and I-94 expiration dates.

      1. ricky

        Hi,
        thanks for your reply.
        Brussels is capital city Belgium and Newark will be the first city where I land in USA, so it would be my POE.

        Please correct if I am wrong.
        Thanks,
        Ricky

  9. sagar

    This is my new employment, I’m travelling to USA on my H1b for the first the time. My Employer is located at Virginia but I’m getting down at Chicago as port of entry in USA to attend a personnel function and will be there for few days.

    Now my question is Would be there any issue if port of entry is different location to the employer location?

    1. Sandy

      Hi Sagar,
      Am into the same situation, i will be attending POE in chicago and then proceed to Detroit where my sister is staying. Employer location is Texas so am worried if there will be any issues due to this.

          1. Faisal

            Hi,
            Guys i have the same situation regarding different POE from the work location. Can anyone please share their experience? it would be very helpful

    2. igu

      Please make an entry at your Work location(LCA location).Don’t get into any sort of trouble with the CBP officers(atlease there will be some additonal questions at POE and be prepared for answering that).If you cannot avoid going to chicago atleast show them the flight ticket you booked for going to your work location.But I would strongly advice you to land at your work location.

      1. Ashish

        Hi,
        I am coming to US on H1B with my wife and kid for the first time.
        The tickets are booked by my employer, however, is it possible that they want to see my bank balance?
        Should I carry proof of my bank balance that I have enough resources to fly back if at all it is required?
        If yes, how much fund would be enough to keep in bank?

  10. Methew

    Thanks for you value able advice. This post provide us all details which one should keep in their mind while applying for USA Business visa. I am also want to know about it.
    once again thanks for this post.

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