H-1B Travel

Required Documents for Travel and Re-entry in H-1B status

To re-enter the United States in H-1B status and resume employment, have the following documents:

  • Passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your H-1B status (refer to dates on I-797A Notice of Action)
  • Form I-797A Notice of Action or H-1B approval notice
  • Valid H-1B visa stamp (except Canadian citizens)
  • Employment verification letter from your supervisor, confirming employment, job title, annual salary, dates of employment.
  • Two to three recent pay statements or paystubs 

If you need to apply for an H-1B visa you may need to submit additional documents. Check with the U.S. embassy or consulate.

  • Copy of the Form I-129 H-1B petition
  • Copy of the certified Labor Condition Application (LCA)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Official academic transcript or proof of degree completion

If you have a valid H-1B visa issued with a prior employer's name, the visa remains valid. An H-1B worker who has changed employers may use the previously issued H-1B visa to re-enter the United States.

Important: Before you travel please refer to U.S. Department of State (DOS) website for answers to number of frequently asked questions or any news regarding applicable Trump Administration travel related bans based on executive orders and proclamations.

Travel while Extension of Stay is Pending

There is a logistical challenge of travel while an H-1B extension petition is pending. If you depart while the H-1B extension application is pending, it is not considered abandoned, however, you will need both a valid H-1B visa (unless exempt) and valid I-797A approval notice to re-enter the U.S. You can use the prior approval notice but only if the period of employment has not yet expired. Travel during the 240-day automatic extension of work authorization after the current H-1B period has expired is not allowed. Please contact ischolar@ucsc.edu if you have questions.

Travel Under H-1B Portability Provisions

If you are no longer working for the original employer you may be admitted at a U.S. port-of-entry, pursuant to portability provisions, if you have a valid passport, valid H-1B visa, I-797A approval notice showing petition validity dates, and documentation showing that a new H-1B petition was filed on your behalf before the current H-1B expiration date. This can be done by carrying the new I-797C receipt notice. If the original H-1B petition has expired you will not be admitted unless you provide evidence the new H-1B petition has been approved.