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aa11

Cruise to Mexico for 3 nights while on H1B COS

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Hello, 

Need your valuable advice. 

My wife is an Indian citizen In the US. Here is the complete info:

 1.      Entered the US on L2 visa (my dependent) in Aug 2015. The L2 visa stamp and I-94 are valid till Aug, 2018.

2.      In September 2016, received an approved H1B from an employer (COS from L2 to H1B with approved I797 and paper I-94 valid till 2019). She is currently working for this employer.

3.      She does not yet have a H1B visa stamp since we haven’t travelled out of the US since her COS.

4.      Now we booked a cruise from LA to Mexico for 3 nights from Dec 30 2016 to Jan 2, 2017 and later realized that this is an out of country travel and there will be an immigration check while re-entering.

 Questions:

1.      Can she travel on this cruise and re-enter without an H1B visa stamp? Does automatic revalidation apply here?

2.      What documents should she carry for immigration on this cruise?

Thank you,

Alok Aggarwal

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She can not enter US on H1 without stamping. And for stamping she need to go back to India as it is her first time stamping. She can enter US on L2 though and apply for change of status to H1 again. Not sure if there is any cool off to change the status though. Check with an attorney for this.  

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Generally, AVR applies when going to Mexico. It should also apply when going by ship.

But, if the ship goes into international waters, there may be issues. Also, the cruise line people may not be all that knowledgeable about this. Call them.

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21 hours ago, pontevecchio said:

She can certainly return using Automatic Visa Revalidation since she is going away to Mexico for less than 30 days.

Automatic revalidation is for expired visas. Is it not a pre-requisite to have an expired visa to re-enter? In this particular case there was a COS from L2 to H1. And there is always a chance of rejection in my opinion to enter her back on H1 status since L2 is valid. Calling an attorney may be right choice at this point.

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On 12/22/2016 at 10:38 AM, aparnameher said:

Automatic revalidation is for expired visas. Is it not a pre-requisite to have an expired visa to re-enter? In this particular case there was a COS from L2 to H1. And there is always a chance of rejection in my opinion to enter her back on H1 status since L2 is valid. Calling an attorney may be right choice at this point.

Hi Aparna, 

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/automatic-revalidation.html

This link suggests one can reenter on a valid I-94 and I-797 and expired visa stamp (This includes cases where U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has changed the nonimmigrant classifications of an alien to another nonimmigrant classification). What are your thoughts now?

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