Logo of Techfetch H1B services
H1B Travel - A Road Map to Guide You
March 25, 2022
4 mins
Toy jet plane on the American flag. Picture depicting fly to US under H1B visa.

Here are three key takeaways you will get from this article:

  • when you can apply for H1B visa stamping after you get approval
  • when you can travel to the US after the H1B stamp
  • what happens at the US port of entry?

If you are an outstanding professional with advanced education, training, and experience, you might qualify for a US H1B visa!

The H1B is an employment-based worker visa granted to non-immigrant professionals who qualify as temporary contributors to the US economy. The H1B application process begins with the US employer. To begin, an eligible US employer has to file a petition with the US government for permission to hire an international worker. After H1B visa approval, the government will grant you an I-797 form a work permit. Now you can obtain a visa stamp on your passport to begin working in the US.

H1B Visa Stamping: When to Apply for Stamping After Approval

Once you obtain an approval notice for your H1B petition, you are now ready to schedule an H1B visa interview. You can choose the consulate office or US Embassy office most accessible to you. Form I-797, Notice of Action, recommends a gap of not more than 90 days between the start date shown on your employment letter and the date you apply for an H1B visa stamp. For example, if October 1st is the date you must join work, you can apply for an H-1B visa stamp anytime after July 1st. It is a good idea to apply as soon as you are eligible to avoid processing delays that might offset your date of joining.

An H1B stamp on your passport is simply an immigration officer's endorsement. The visa stamp is proof of the following:

  • You have passed through all the right channels and checkpoints in the visa application process.
  • Embassy officials in your country are satisfied that you fulfill the H1B visa requirements to enter the US.
  • The US Embassy, the Department of Labor, and the USCIS have unanimously approved your eligibility to live and work in the US.

H1B Travel Documents - A Gist Of All You Will Require

After passing the H1B interview, you are ready to submit your passport for stamping. Here are a few things to ensure before you submit your passport:

  1. Passport validity: your passport should have validity at least six months longer than the validity of your H1B visa. Be sure to renew your passport before submitting it for stamping if your passport has neared expiration.
  2. Medical Approval: You are expected to undergo a complete medical examination by a licensed doctor before H1B stamping can happen.
  3. Document Submission: Include the following documents in your submission before you apply for H1B stamping -
    • A DS-156 Form completed and signed by the candidate
    • A DS-157 Form filled by the candidate
    • A photograph of the candidate taken within the last six months
    • Form I-797 which shows the USCIS approval of your petition
    • The original petition: Form I-129
    • The LCA (Labor Condition Application) from the Department of Labor
    • A letter of employment from your employer with the name of your position, a job description, salary, etc.
    • Certificates and Educational documents that show your qualification and eligibility for the job and H1B visa travel.

please click here, for a comprehensive list of documents required for you to travel.

H1B Visa Stamp Received: Can I Travel To The US Immediately?

Once all submissions have been completed, and authorities approve, it is possible that the US Embassy would give you the visa stamp. At this point, you will be eligible to travel to a US port of entry no earlier than ten days before your joining date at work. For example, if your employment letter states that your joining date is October 1st, you can successfully enter the US on or after September 20th. Any attempt to travel earlier will only result in the immigration officers sending you back.

Also Read : Things to Carry While Travelling to USA From India for H1B

Entering The US On An H1B Visa: What To Expect At The Point Of Entry

At the H1B port of entry, you will encounter Customs and Border Protection officials from the US Department of Homeland Security. These officers will have the final say in whether you qualify to enter the United States. Prepare the following documents for submission at this checkpoint:

  • Passport showing an expiry date that is at least six months after the expiry of your I-797A Notice of Action
  • Visa stamp on your passport with H1B classification, showing multiple entry stamp
  • I-797A Notice of Action

Once these are submitted and checked, you can expect the officer to question you a bit. Remember to give complete and honest answers. You may also be photographed and your fingerprints will also be taken at this point.

If the officer deems you eligible to enter, he will stamp the I-94 card to give you entry. The date you enter the US and the date by which you should leave will be displayed on this card. On some occasions, immigration officials grant a 10-day grace period after the last of work to sort your affairs before you leave the country.

The US Immigration office is the sole authority on granting entry into the United States. An approved visa stamped onto your passport is not an automatic green signal for entry. There will be a thorough check of all documentation once again at this point before a candidate can gain entry.

Read on to explore more about the Form I-797 and the H1B I-94 card used at the entry and exit of the U.S.

TechFetch H1B - The One Stop Resource for Everything on H-1B

After a long and complicated journey with H1B, now you are ready to travel to your dream destination. Visit TechFetch H1B to learn all the information regarding your travel. Follow us for regular updates.

**Disclaimer: H1B rules and regulations keep changing from time to time. For updated information, always refer to the USCIS official website.**

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Share in: 

Article by Techfetch H1B team

Copyright © 2024 h1b.techfetch.com | All Rights Reserved.