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Ram24

Traveling to India after h1 lottery picked

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Hi,

I am on OPT Stem Visa , my H1 got picked for this year and is in RFE as of now. Is it suggested to travel to India in this time?

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Hello Ram,

Just to confirm you are on F1 Visa and your status at this time is STEM OPT and you have a pending H1B petition in process with USCIS (RFE at this time).

As long as you have maintained a valid status and posses a valid visa you should be good to travel with associated risks. Valid as in Unexpired Visa in an unexpired passport.

However, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney, say for example you are in transit and your H1B petition is approved and at the port of entry you are trying to Enter using your previous documentation like F1 Visa, I-20 which has your SEVIS, once your H1B is approved, your SEVIS is no longer active that means the documents that you are using for immigration have expired and no longer active and you may have to return to your homeland and go for consular processing and get H1B stamped and re-enter.

They may be factors that you can control over, usually RFE's have a deadline mentioned on page 1 until which your employer has time to respond to, if you can control not responding to that RFE immediately and travel and come back and respond, this guarantees that your current status would not change.

Keep a check list of documents required for travel on F1 Visa, for example your I-20 needs to be annotated by your DSO which is within the past 6 months from re-entry date.

 

 

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Do you happen to know in which service center is your case being processed in.

California Service Center
Nebraska Service Center
Vermont Service Center

https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

Assuming California Service Center at current the normal processing time is about 6.5 Months to 8.5 Months for H-1B - Specialty occupation - B

Because of this huge backlog, they have suspended Premium Processing "Process long-pending petitions, which we have been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and premium processing requests over the past few months" - https://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-extends-and-expands-suspension-premium-processing-h-1b-petitions-reduce-delays

However if you need to travel to India on an urgent basis which you haven't disclosed for personal reasons, I hope you are aware that there are certain exceptions, if you think you meet any one of these exceptions, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney to expedite your case as Premium given that you satisfy one of the Expedite Criteria.

USCIS reviews all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership. The burden is on the applicant or petitioner to demonstrate that one or more of the expedite criteria have been met.

A. Expedite Criteria 
USCIS may expedite a petition or application if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
•Severe financial loss to company or person;
•Emergency situation; [For example, the applicant is gravely ill.] 
•Humanitarian reasons; [For example, outbreak of war in the home country.] 
•Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States; [For example, an organization broadcasting in regional areas to promote democratic interests.] 
•Department of Defense or national interest situation; [The request must come from an official U.S. government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to the government] 
•USCIS error; or
•Compelling interest of USCIS.

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume1-PartA-Chapter12.html#footnote-2

If none of these apply in your case, then the only option left is to wait and watch how things turn out for you.

All the best, hope everything turns out in your favor.

 

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