Passport Expiry


ISN88

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Hi,

My passport expires in 2021 and my H1B approval is valid until 3 months after passport expiry.

I am going for stamping in 2020. I have more than a year before passport expires.

Do I need to get it renewed before I go? Problem is I do not know if they will accept renewal 1 year prior to the expiry.

Regards,

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No, passport renewal can happen maximum 365 days before. The 6 months is the time period of minimum passport validity required to stamp the visa, else the is US consulate won’t accept it.

ideally, it would be good to renew the passport before the trip so that the I-94 date matches the visa date but if the timeline does not work out and you have to visit then it’s not a big deal. The visa stamp you receive will still be for the full H1B period on the I797 approval notice. However the I94 stamp by the immigration officer at the port of entry will be till the passport expiry date ie 3 months before the date on the stamp. Since the i 94 date controls the immigration status, the H1B extension in 2021 will have to happen before the i 94 date and not the visa stamp date. Just be cognizant of that.

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On 12/26/2019 at 8:28 PM, ISN88 said:

Hi,

My passport expires in 2021 and my H1B approval is valid until 3 months after passport expiry.

I am going for stamping in 2020. I have more than a year before passport expires.

Do I need to get it renewed before I go? Problem is I do not know if they will accept renewal 1 year prior to the expiry.

Regards,

No issues. Just make sure to note down the I-94 expiry date when you enter US. That will determine your legal stay. You can apply for renewal 6 months before your current H-1 expires. So you should be good.

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I know others are saying no issues, but let me tell you what you will really run into. You will come back and your new i94 will be till your passport expiry date, which is 3 months short of i797 validity. You will apply for a new passport after coming back. All good.

Now you will have to either travel to get a new i94 for the additional 3 months or file for a h1 petition before you i94 expiry date to stay in status. Let's say you are not able to file in advance, you will have to scramble to travel for getting a new I94 to stay in status. Do you want to be in such a situation?

Make hay while the Sun shines.

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