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Can I use my old employer's valid H1B visa to enter the USA after having stayed outside the USA for a year?

Boston, MA |

I stopped working in the USA a year ago and have been residing abroad since then. My old H1B visa is still valid. Now I have in my possession a new I-797 approval notice from a new employer. In the past I have entered the USA using an old employer's valid visa while working for a new employer. But this time I stopped working and have been abroad for a year. Can I still use my old valid H1B visa to enter the USA in this situation? Many thanks.

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Attorney answers 4



This is not legal advice until I am retained and have reviewed all facts about your situation.



Why what? Why enter the USA? In order to work for a new employer since I already have the I-797 approval notice.


Tricky. That would be "pushing the envelope"too far.. Talk to the immigration lawyer often you employer before you attempt to return to the US.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


It would be best to:

1. Talk to the new employer's immigration lawyer (not a non-attorney in HR), and
2. Get a new visa stamp.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- -- -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


You are allowed to, as long as you have an unexpired H1 visa stamped on your passport, the new approval notice (original) and a letter from the new employer confirming employment.

Business Immigration Attorney. For H, L, J, EB5s, PERM and EB1/2/3 Petitions. Call 800-688-7892 or visit Law Office of Anu Gupta. The advice suggested here is for general information only and not to be construed as legal advice.