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Travel on H1B approved but not stamped with F1 visa.

Tempe, AZ |

I applied for H1B this year (2014) and got approved. I have valid F1 visa valid till 2015 and StemOPT EAD valid till 2015. Can I travel abroad and return to USA in September with F1 visa.

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Attorney answers 6


This depends on whether you have been approved for change of status or not. Timing of travel can be critical.

Please note that this posting does not constitute legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship with the inquirer. Avvo is a useful forum to obtain general information on legal issues, but is not a substitute for direct, confidential consultation with an attorney in any legal matter.


You are always free to travel. However, when it comes to your immigration case if you leave the US while your H1B is under processing, which means that although it may be approved your change of status will be abandoned. For any change of status or status extension the beneficiary needs to be present in the US. Once your H1b is approved with change of status, you are good to leave the US and enter the US on an F1 visa before October 1st if it is still valid. On October 1st your status will automatically change to H1B which was scheduled at the time of your change of status was approved.


If you and your employer applied for a cap exempt H-1B visa you may have already adjusted status.
If that is the case , you can have the U.S. consulate in your home country issue the cap exempt H-1B when you visit your homeland.
Check with the employer to determine if the H-1B is cap exempt.


I agree that more about the timing is needed.

You might try to post a bit more detail because we want to help if possible


You may apply for H-1B at the US Consulate abroad and return with that visa if you are already working for the H-1B employer. If you are not, you may request a H-1B that will begin on October 1, if that is the fiscal year for which you have been approved.

The herein content is for general informational purposes only, and may be predicated on incomplete facts. It should not be relied upon in making legal decisions or assessing your legal rights or risks. Neither does the herein reply create an attorney-client relationship.


Yes you can. Since you will be on STEM OPT EAD make you you carry a letter from your current employer confirming your employment while on OPT. On October 1, 2014 your status will change to H-B

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