Travel in H-1B Status

Whenever you will travel outside the U.S. and reenter in H-1B status, please carry the following documents: 

  • Form I-797 Approval Notice (with I-94 card if you have not previously departed the U.S.) for the H-1B petition
  • H-1B visa (If you do not have an H-1B visa, please see the “Applying for an H-1B or H-4 Visa” section below.)
  • Passport should be valid for 6 months at time of entry to the U.S. (However, if the country from which your passport was issued is listed here, the country extends passport validity for an additional six months after the passport's expiration date, so you may use your passport to enter the U.S. as long as it is unexpired.)
  • MSU job offer letter
  • Last two pay stubs
  • Copy of Form W-2

If an H-4 dependent will be traveling with you, your dependent (or you, on a child’s behalf) should carry the following documents: 

  • Copy of your Form I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B petition
  • Form I-797 Approval Notice (with I-94 card if your dependent has not previously departed the U.S.) for the I-539 change of status application
  • H-4 visa (If you do not have an H-1B visa, please see the “Visa Interviews” section below.)
  • Passport should be valid for 6 months at time of entry to the U.S. (However, if the country from which your passport was issued is listed here, the country extends passport validity for an additional six months after the passport's expiration date, so you may use your passport to enter the U.S. as long as it is unexpired.)
  • Copies of H-1B employee’s official job offer letter signed by the President of MSU and any subsequent reappointment letters
  • Copies of H-1B employee’s last two pay stubs
  • Copy of H-1B employee’s Form W-2

If your H-1B petition has not yet been approved, you have a pending change of status application (I-539) with USCIS, or you are in the midst of an application for Lawful Permanent Residency, please speak with the Director of International Student & Scholar Services before traveling.

I-94 Information: 

  • Always check your I-94 stamp before leaving the Port of Entry (airport or U.S. border) to be sure that your classification (H-1B) and date of entry are correct. If anything is incorrect, get it fixed before you leave the airport. 
  • After arriving in the U.S., check your electronic I-94 information to verify that it is also correct.

 

Applying for an H-1B or H-4 Visa

Review the visa stamp in your passport and, if your visa is expired or you do not have an H-1B/H-4 visa, schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate abroad. Wait times for securing a visa interview and visa processing can be found here. You will need to complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application and pay any related fees required by the Department of State. The Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee for H petitions is $190. In addition to preparing the documents listed in the below checklist, please review the I.S. guidance entitled Guidelines for Applying for a Non-immigrant Visa.

  • These are the documents you as an H-1B employee should carry to your visa interview: 
    • Form I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B petition
    • Complete copy of your H-1B petition, which can be obtained from International Student & Scholar Services if you do not already have one
    • Valid passport
    • Official job offer letter signed by the President of MSU and any subsequent reappointment letters
    • Copies of your last two pay stubs
    • Copy of Form W-2 
  • These are the documents your H-4 dependent(s) should carry to the visa interview: 
    • Copy of your Form I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B petition
    • Form I-797 Approval Notice for the I-539 change of status application
    • Valid passport
    • Copies of H-1B employee’s official job offer letter signed by the President of MSU and any subsequent reappointment letters
    • Copies of H-1B employee’s last two pay stubs
    • Copy of H-1B employee’s Form W-2 

If you have additional questions about your travel, please contact the Director of International Student & Scholar Services for assistance.