Reentering the United States on an H-1B Visa
Follow the steps below if you are a current H-1B employee and you plan to travel outside the United States temporarily and reenter to resume the same job at WSU. We strongly advise that you do not travel outside the United States if your H-1B extension is pending with USCIS, as complications may arise.
Before departing the United States
Request your original USCIS H-1B approval notice from International Student and Scholar Services at least 3 weeks before your scheduled departure.
You will need your original H-1B approval notice to reenter the United States and resume the same job at WSU, as well as to apply for an H-1B visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad. International Student and Scholar Services will also email you a copy of your most recent H-1B petition if you do not have one.
Documents needed for reentry
Your passport must always be valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay in the United States.
Original, unexpired USCIS H-1B I-797 approval notice for your current position
International Student and Scholar Services keeps the original document at the office for audit purposes. You must check it out when you notify International Student and Scholar Services 3 weeks in advance of any upcoming international travel.
Valid, unexpired H-1B visa stamp in your passport
If you do not have an H-1B visa stamp in your passport or your H-1B visa stamp has expired, you must apply for one at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad before you can enter or reenter the United States. Canadian citizens are the only ones exempt from the visa stamp requirement.
Copy of your most recent H-1B petition
International Student and Scholar Services will email you a copy of your most recent H-1B petition if you do not have one.
Other documents may be required by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer to establish your qualification as an H-1B worker, but we recommend you have the current, original employment offer letter issued and signed by your hiring unit. Printed on the hiring unit’s letterhead, the letter must specify your position title, job duties, and salary. Include your paystubs from the previous 2 months if you have been employed as an H-1B worker at WSU.
Traveling to Canada or Mexico
If you are visiting Canada or Mexico for 30 days or less, you may be able to reenter the United States with a valid Form I-94 and an expired H-1B visa if you meet certain requirements. This provision of immigration law is known as automatic revalidation. Be sure that you understand the laws and how they pertain to you before you travel. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
In addition, find out if you need a visitor visa to travel to either Canada or Mexico.
At U.S. Port of Entry
- Enter as an H-1B employee with H-1B documents, even if you are from a country in the visa waiver program. You will need your H1-B visa for employment in the United States. Do NOT enter as a visa waiver program participant.
- Immediately after inspection, check the entry stamp in your passport when it is returned to you by an immigration officer. If there is a mistake (for example, if the authorized end date is earlier than the expiration date in your H-1B approval notice), ask the immigration officer to make the correction right away.
Upon entry into the United States
Print: I-94 information
Send the following documents to email@example.com:
- I-94 printout
- Copy of your renewed passport (if applicable)
- Copy of your H-1B visa (if applicable)
- Passport page with entry stamp showing H-1B status and the expiration date
Physically return the original copy of your H-1B approval notice to International Student and Scholar Services in Bryan Hall 206 on the Pullman campus.