Travel to India 1month before H1B visa expiration


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Hello All,

I have been working in the US for the past 5yrs on H1B visa. My current I-797, and H1B Visa stamping expire on December 14. I need to go to India for a month, and return to US on November 27. My company has applied for Visa renewal (I have approved I-140). So, i should have the new I-797, by the time i return on November 27. I am planning to "avoid" going for Visa stamping with new I-797 if possible. My questions are:

1. Can i comeback to US without any problems at Immigration/Port of Entry just 15 days before my visa expires?

2. Do you guys suggest me to go for Visa stamping, or is it permissible and legal to get into US couple of weeks before my visa stamping expires (Since my company has applied for visa renewal, most definitely i will have the new I-797, old I-797, and Visa stamping for a future date).

I'ld Appreciate your comments, and suggestions.



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You cannot leave US while your H1B renewal is under process. If you leave, your case will be abandoned.

Better get it approved before you travel, this is a good time to file under PP.

You can leave US, once the status changes to approval and your employer can mail it to your address in your home country and you can use it at POE.

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There should not be any problem for you. My friend was exactly same situation like you(He had only 40 days when he came back). He went to India and came back succesfully without any question being asked at PoE. At max Immigration Officer may remind you that visa will be expiring in a month you can tell that you are going to apply for extension.

He applied for H1 extn within a week after coming back and everything went fine.

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"One can not Leave US while H1B renewal is under process"

is 100% and absolutely true. I was in the same condition and my law firm told me either wait untill we have your approval in hand or make your trip and come back then we will file your extension because extension petition needs copy of your i94 and your physical presence is mandatory.

Originally posted by pontevecchio:

"You cannot leave US while your H1B renewal is under process. If you leave, your case will be abandoned."

Absolutely and totally not true. It is true that you should use the new H1 approval to come back. Every extension is also a new H1 petition. As long as the OP returns after the Extension is approved he is fine.

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