Urgent: Port of Entry I797 change of employer not used by Officer


pkt158

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I am at immigration check in Abu Dhabi. Yes, immigration check is now done outside US too. Apparently, there will be no further checks as I have a arrived stamp in my passport.

 

However, the strangest event occurred. The Visa officer didn't ask for i797, and used only my Ex-company's H1B Stamp on my passport.

 

I specifically told him that I have an I797 change of employer petition with me from my current employer. The office replied that he doesn't need it. He went ahead and added Sep-18-2016 date on arrived stamp in my passport. 

 

He told me that -

1. The H1B expires after this date and I will have to get a new VISA after that date.

2. I cannot exit United States after Sep-18-2016.

 

My concern is whether it is likely that the VISA officer added I-94 on my previous H1B stamp.

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The Visa officer at US Customs and Border Protection didn't ask for I797, and used only the my EX-employer X, H1B Stamp from 2014 on my passport. I specifically told him that I have an I797 change of employer petition filed from my current employer Y, and he should refer to latest I797. The office replied that he doesn't need it. He went ahead and added Sep-8-2016 date under "Admitted stamp" in my passport.

He told me -
1. The H1B expires after this Sep-8-2016 and I will have to get a new H1-B VISA BEFORE that date.
2. I cannot exit United States after Sep-8-2016. I have to exit and get a new VISA before Sep-8-2016.

Later, I approached his supervisor to clarify. The supervisor returned with the following response when I provided him the Passport and current employer I797 - "The officer has fixed the VISA. The VISA(stamp) is what gets you inside US. I797 is just to maintain your status while you are in US, and thus not needed here."

I would highly appreciate if you could clarify on the following questions to help me better understand the process:

1. I797 activation
a. When we enter United States, is there any activation of I797 involved? When we have multiple change of employer I797 filed, as in my case, does the visa officer at the port of entry pick and choose the I797 to activate? If so, should the VISA officer ask for an I797? Please refer to last action rule in - https://www.usavisanow.com/h-1b-visa...ding-at-uscis/

Given the last action rule, does one need to ever re-enter US to update I797 on record - say in case of a change of employer petition, or a change of employer petition filed/approved while you are outside US?

b. Out of curiosity, if we need to correct/update the associated I797 change of employer petition with H1B VISA on file, do we need to enter US again via the port of entry. If so, could we exit border by road(Say Canada/Mexico), and re-enter via the port of entry without entering the other country(Canada/Mexico with no Canadian/Mexican VISA)? Or could we get it done from US Customs office with in US?

2. VISA expiry
a. What happens when the H1B VISA stamp expires? Do we need to travel outside US, and get a new stamp, BEFORE the H1B Visa expires? Or can we get a stamp when we travel outside US AFTER Sep 8, 2016 - which is the date on my VISA stamp - and on the latest "Admitted stamp" in my passport - but before the end date in I797.

 

I am at immigration check in Abu Dhabi. Yes, immigration check is now done outside US too. Apparently, there will be no further checks as I have a arrived stamp in my passport.
 
However, the strangest event occurred. The Visa officer didn't ask for i797, and used only my Ex-company's H1B Stamp on my passport.
 
I specifically told him that I have an I797 change of employer petition with me from my current employer. The office replied that he doesn't need it. He went ahead and added Sep-18-2016 date on arrived stamp in my passport. 
 
He told me that -
1. The H1B expires after this date and I will have to get a new VISA after that date.
2. I cannot exit United States after Sep-18-2016.
 
My concern is whether it is likely that the VISA officer added I-94 on my previous H1B stamp.

 

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when DOES YOUR PASSPORT EXPIRE?

My passport expires in 2023.

 

I spoke with immigration attorney at my current employer. They are arranging for an application to USCIS to update the I94, and use the I797 expiry on my I94. That should solve the issue.

 

Meanwhile, I have another change of employer petition ongoing by another employer. Will the USCIS update of I94, and change of employer petition cause a conflict, as they are filed together?

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That was exactly what I meant by updating with the CBP. They should not affect each other.

Thanks a lot. I have been issued an I797B from my next employer.

 

I am travelling to Mexico to get my next employer's I797B activated.

 

Would the change carry over when we to the new I94 issued with my next employer's I797B?

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Hey  PKT 158,

 

I think the main immigration point is when you arrive at US. That is where they create your new I94.

 

Outside of US they just check the documents, So you must have presented the wrong documents while at the US port immigration entry.

 

Do you remember what happened when you entered US port in USA, which document you showed at that point ?

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Hi Ricky,

 

The US CBP has corrected the I94 now. What happened was that the office didn't(refused) to use my I797 petition. I think he made a mistake by just using my Passport stamp. I asked him twice, but he responded that he will use the date on Passport. 

Hey  PKT 158,

 

I think the main immigration point is when you arrive at US. That is where they create your new I94.

 

Outside of US they just check the documents, So you must have presented the wrong documents while at the US port immigration entry.

 

Do you remember what happened when you entered US port in USA, which document you showed at that point ?

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