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Valid H1B stamp travel to US before Oct 1

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Dear Community Member

Hoping for your advise, I have got H1B stamping done and validity date of visa is as of today onwards.

My question, how many days before Oct 1, can I travel to US considering I can only start to work on Oct 1.

Also, If I travel 10 days before Oct 1, wouldnt that stay be illegal since I am only allowed to work starting from Oct 1, since my residency in US is dependent on valid H1B status ?

Appreciate you help / inputs ?

Thanks for your time.

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This is the email I got from Vancouver U.S embassy.

You’re allowed to seek admission into the States 10 days prior to your employment start date. Please note your admissibility will be determined by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the intended port of entry.


Nonimmigrant Visa Unit

US Consulate General Vancouver


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You can arrive only 10 days before your I-797 start date.

This is because a general understanding is you need at least 10 days period to settle down yourself, rent an apartment and car and get familiar with the place.

As per my understanding you may not start working before oct 1st though.

Reference: http://oisshome.wustl.edu/scholars/H1B/H_pre-arrival.html

Go to section -

Travel Arrangements

After you have received your H-1B entry visa, you should make your travel arrangements to the U.S.

Check your start date on your I-797 Approval Notice before making travel arrangements. You may not arrive in the U.S. more than 10 days before your start date on the I-797.

We recommend that you schedule your arrival for a few days before the start date on your I-797 Approval Notice, so that you can search for an apartment and settle in. Remember that immigration laws do not allow you to begin working before your I-797 start date.

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@moonliht: Few years back when we go to H1B stamping before Oct 1, we'll get visa stamped along with another stamp which tells that should be allowed to United States on or after Sep 22. So, pls check in your passport if you have that kind of messaged stamping. Though if not, you are good to travel one week before Oct 1, if your H1B visa validity starts prior to Oct 1.

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