Travel Outside the United States

You can travel abroad during your H-1B program. Your trip may be personal (to visit relatives, for example) or professional (to attend a conference or work with colleagues overseas). These recommendations will help ensure that you have a smooth trip.

Gather and Check Your Documents

You will need to take the following documents:

  • Your passport

  • Monitor the I-94 website to make sure the information is correct

We recommend taking the following documents too:

  • Two to three of your recent pay stubs confirming your current employment

  • Original H-1B Approval Notice (Form I-797)

  • A photocopy of your H-1B petition

Check your passport, H-1B Approval Notice (Form I-797), and H-1B visa to ensure that they have not expired. If your passport will expire within six months, we recommend renewing it. If your visa will expire while you are abroad, you will need to have a new visa interview and get a new H-1B visa to return to the United States.

Request a Visitor’s Visa, If Necessary

If you are traveling to a country other than your home country, you may need a visitor’s visa. You may even need a visa for a transit stop or layover. To find out, visit that country’s embassy website and search for the nearest Consular Section.

Travel to or through Canada

There are new requirements for travelling to or through Canada.  Some travelers may not need a visa but need Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter or transit Canada.  Go to this page to see if you need an eTA or a visitor visa to enter Canada:  http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp You should plan that you will need one or the other.

Plan for Additional Wait Times

If you have to get a new visa while you are abroad, the process can take six weeks or more because of security clearances. When you make travel arrangements, you and your department should plan for the possibility of these wait times.