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Travel Outside US

If you wish to travel outside the U.S. and re-enter during your approved appointment period, you should be sure to have the following things at the time you re-enter the U.S.:

  • Valid passport: Be sure that your passport is valid at least six months into the future from the day you re-enter the U.S.
  • A valid H-1B visa stamp: Check your visa to make sure it will be valid on your intended re-entry date. Also note the number of entries allowed on your visa. If you do not have a valid H-1B visa, you will need to apply for one at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas. For general information on obtaining a new visa, see the section on Applying for a Visa. (Please see the notes below if you are traveling to Canada or Mexico, or are a Canadian citizen.)
  • The original Form I-797 (H-1B approval notice), which shows your H-1B approval for New York University.
  • Employment letter from your Department signed by the Chair which confirms your salary, title, and employment dates (If the letter filed with your case is older than 6 months from your planned date of entry to the U.S., please obtain an updated one from your Department administrator).
  • A copy of the H-1B petition (Form I-129) NYU filed for you and a copy of the Labor Condition Application (Form ETA 9035) NYU filed with your most recent petition. (These items were given to you by Scholar Services when your H-1B petition was approved).

Permanent Resident Applicants

If you have an approved permanent resident petition (I-140) filed by NYU and will be re-entering the U.S. in H-1B status, you should also carry a copy of your I-140 Immigrant Petition approval notice (Form I-797). Further, if you have applied to the USCIS for adjustment of status (I-485), you should also carry the USCIS receipt showing submission of your adjustment application.

Dependents in H-4 status

If you are traveling with your dependents, make sure that you carry all items listed above, and that they possess a valid passport with valid H-4 visa stamp for re-entry. If they need an H-4 visa, they must also present to a U.S. consular official proof of relationship to you (i.e., a marriage or birth certificate), documentation showing financial support (this can be a brief letter from you if you intend to support them on your salary along with copy of your employment letter), and your original I-797 approval notice for H-1B status (or their original I-797 showing proof of H-4 status if they ever obtained one). If they are applying for an H-4 visa independent of you and do not have their own original I-797 approval notice for H-4 status, they should submit a photocopy of your I-797 H-1B approval notice.

Travel to Canada or Mexico

Most H-1B scholars do not need a new U.S. visa to return to the U.S. after visiting Canada or Mexico due to a process known as Automatic Revalidation. If you travel to Canada or Mexico, for 30 days or less, you do not need a new visa stamp even if your current one has expired if you:

  • are in lawful status,
  • have a valid USCIS issued I-797 Approval Notice for their current employer in your possession,
  • have unexpired I-94 information with you (print a copy of your I-94 record and bring it with you),
  • have an unexpired passport valid at least six months into the future, and
  • have a previously-issued nonimmigrant visa (which could be expired, or even in a different category than the I-94 if a change of status has been approved in the U.S.)

Automatic revalidation of visa does NOT apply if the scholar:

  • Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
  • Applied for a new visa and was denied;
  • Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
  • Has traveled to a country other than Canada or Mexico
  • Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. (Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs.)

Note: Citizens of some countries may need a visa to enter Canada or Mexico. Please check to see if citizens of your home country are required to have a visa stamp (e.g. a Canadian tourist visa) to enter an adjacent country.


When the immigration inspector notes your I-94 information upon re-entry into the U.S., be sure to check at that time that it is noted with the correct visa status in which you are intending to enter the U.S. (If, for example, you are an H-1B professor and the immigration inspector notes "B-2" on your I-94, you will not be eligible to work!)

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