Travel on old valid H1B visa stamp and new I-797


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Hi All,

My current H1B is valid until Jan 1,2012. My H1B extension for 7th year has already been filed and plan to convert it to premium processing. I plan to travel only after getting my extension approval.

I plan to travel sometime in late November and return around Dec 15th. Since my current H1B visa stamping is valid until Jan 1,2012 can I return without going for stamping and use the extended H1B 797 to get the new date in I-94 ?

I would appreciate your feedback .


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While an I-797 H1B Approval Notice is tied to a particular employer, an H1B visa stamp is tied to the status. Thus, generally as long as an individual possesses a valid H1B visa in their passport it is not necessary to obtain a new H1B visa when traveling abroad simply because there has been change in H1B employment. In the aforementioned instance, it is advisable for an individual to carry with them the new I-797 Approval Notice, copy of the approved petition, and evidence of continuing employment pursuant to the approved petition when entering the U.S. after travel abroad. Please note however, there are some limitations to visa flexibility in certain circumstances such as when an individual works in the U.S. without authorization. Please contact a qualified U.S. immigration attorney with any other questions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your reply. I am not changing the employer but staying with same employer.

I plan to reenter US after travel on Dec 20th. My current H1B visa is valid until Jan 1,2012. My H1B extension has already been approved under premium processing. Is it safe for me to travel under these circumstances ? Will I be questioned at the POE as to hwy I did not go for a new H1B stamping ?


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