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Things to Carry While Travelling to USA From India for H1B
March 25, 2022
8 mins
Closeup view of a young woman's hands holding the American flag and a red suitcase with passport on it.

Isn't it a relief to finally have your H1B visa in your hand after all those long hours of nervous waiting? Now that you have your H1B visa, it's time to start packing! We bet you have a long list of items to pack and take to the US. But did you know that most H1B holders pack a lot of things that are not necessary? Thanks to poor information and wrong guidance, people carry more stuff than they need.

For your convenience, we have compiled this article that discusses:

  • Things that you can carry to the US
  • Things to avoid carrying to the US
  • Documents required to carry to the US when travelling on an H1B visa.

Keep yourself well-informed before you start packing!

Documents & Medication To Take to the US in Your H1B Visa Travel

Even after you have obtained your H1B visa, you cannot travel right away to the US. As per immigration rules, you can enter the US only 10 days before the start date indicated on Form I-797. As soon as you land on US soil, you will have some formalities to complete. You have to:

Present Form I-797, your valid passport, and a valid H1B visa at the port of entry to the US.
Fill the Arrival/ Departure Record or Form I-94 with the necessary information
Give your name exactly as it appears on your passport

To ensure a safe, worthwhile stay in the US, you have to carry all the required documents and paperwork. You will need your:

  • Current original passport and its copy
  • Flight ticket
  • Boarding pass
  • H1B visa documents
  • Soft copies of all the documents

Click here to see the full list of documents required for your H1B travel.

List of items to take to the US

It is wise to draft an H1B travel checklist instead of blindly packing everything that comes to mind. One of the most important things you will need is medical or health coverage, the most vital aspect of an international travel policy. Besides, medical costs are quite expensive in the US. Hence, it is better to arm yourself with an international health insurance policy and some medication to manage health-related emergencies.

What are the medication you are allowed to take to the US?

It is wise to have the following medication with you during your H1B travel to US:

  • Portable first aid kit to handle medical emergencies.
  • Over-the-counter medication for fever and cough such as Benadryl, Crocin, Metacin, etc. Make sure to check the expiry dates and buy only fresh stock.
  • Prescription sheets if you suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, or migraine. If you carry medication for such ailments, you may have to show these prescriptions.
  • Immunizations records of any immunizations that you have taken before the journey.
  • Eyeglasses because they are expensive in the USA. We recommend packing at least two pairs of eyeglasses. If you are using contacts, please purchase them based on how often you change them.

Also Read: H1B Travel - A Road Map to Guide You

List of Clothing, Food, & Miscellaneous Items to Pack

Even if you own a hoard of clothes, you ought to be sensible about what you pack. You can carry dress items like a couple of good jeans, tops, and t-shirts. You might want to consider buying clothes in the US when the sale is on. That's when you can purchase clothes at reasonable prices. Apart from clothes, you must take:

  • Towels
  • Jackets
  • Sweaters
  • Formal wear
  • Undergarments
  • Sneakers (1pair)
  • Formal shoes (1 pair)
  • Slippers (1 pair)

As far as accessories are concerned, it is wise to pack your belts and wallets too, because they are quite expensive in the US.

Food items and utensils

Many branded masala powders are available in the US. You can find them in your local Indian grocery shops. However, you may also carry homemade dried spice powders in air-tight containers. We also suggest packing a cooker with an extra gasket and whistle.

Miscellaneous items

You will need some miscellaneous items to sustain yourself for the first few weeks in the US. You will need:

  • International calling cards: To make inexpensive long-distance calls to your friends and family, it is better to purchase an international SIM card. You may also download a low-cost international calling app.
  • Foreign travel card: You can ask your bank for a Forex card.
  • US Dollars: Get an ample amount of currency exchanged for US dollars to have liquid cash to meet your expenses.
  • Travel insurance: Although it is not mandatory, it is always safe to carry travel insurance.

Apart from the above-mentioned items, you will need:

  • Credit or debit cards
  • Pocket diary with important contact numbers
  • Adapters and chargers for all your electronic gadgets
  • Passport size photos of yourself

So, here is your list of things to pack for your H1B visa travel. Let's now check the list of items that you cannot carry to the USA.

List of Items to Avoid Taking to the USA

While packing your suitcases for your H1B travel, it is always wise to avoid carrying a few items. They are:

  • Winter clothes

It's best not to pack your woolen clothes and long coats because you can purchase them all in the US. Besides, you also get better ones there.

  • Toiletries

All personal care items and toiletries can be purchased in the US. However, please purchase your toiletries in India if you use anything for specific skin conditions.

  • Electrical appliances

Since the power specifications are different in the US, your electrical appliances may not work.

  • Groceries

Avoid taking items like rice, oil, pulses, and legumes, unless you are going to a very remote place where there are no international grocery shops.

  • Utensils

Other than a cooker, it's best not to wastefully invest in non-stick pans, crockery, and other kitchen utensils. You can buy them at cheaper prices and better quality in the US.

Finally, it is advisable not to carry any medication or drugs, not on the prescriptions.
Also, please ensure that all medication prescriptions are in your name.

It will take a few weeks to acclimatize yourself to the weather and cost of living in the US. But once you find your footing, you will realize that the USA is one of the best places to live in. Since you will find everything you need, it is best to pack light. Just ensure that you have all the basic and important items for a hassle-free experience.

Remember your journey's purpose: You are there on an H1B visa to establish a flourishing career and a bright future. Therefore, you ought to make the most of this opportunity. Remember to respect the nation, its people, and its customs. Follow all the rules and regulations and blend in to avoid trouble with the law. And don't forget to enjoy yourself!

Get the up-to-date information from TechFetch H1B

It is always better to get correct information rather than act on assumptions when you start packing for your H1B travel. Check our TechFetch H1B for the right guidance.

**Disclaimer: All H1B-related information is subject to change. Please refer to the USCIS official website for the latest updates regarding the H1B visa.**

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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