Traveling Outside the United States for H-1B Employees

Re-entering the U.S.

To re-enter the U.S., you need the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid H-1B visa (See Visa Exceptions below)
  • The original lower portion of the I-797 approval notice and a copy of the upper portion.
  • A copy of the entire H-1B petition that UM filed. If you have not received a copy, please ask for one from the OIS.
  • Evidence that you continue to be employed according to the terms and conditions of your H-1B petition (i.e. three most recent paycheck stubs, a letter from your employing department).

Applying for/Renewing your H-1B visa

H-1B petition approval (i.e., the application filed with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services) is not a visa nor can it be used in place of a visa. If you or your dependents will travel outside the U.S., you will need a valid H-1B/H-4 visa to reenter the U.S. (see visa exceptions below).Visa applications must be submitted in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Applicants are normally required to submit the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • Recent passport-style photos
  • Copy of the H-1B petition filed with USCIS
  • Original lower portion and copy of the upper portion of the I-797 H-1B approval notice
  • Evidence of your continued employment (paycheck stubs, letter from your employing department)
  • Any additional paperwork – please consult the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply for the visa at

Visa Exceptions

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are exempt from visa requirements.

See Automatic Revalidation for information on traveling with an expired visa.

Traveling to a Country Other than your Country of Citizenship

Before traveling to another country of which you are not a citizen, check the United States re-entry requirements, as well as that country's travel requirements.  A list of U.S embassies and consulates can be found here.  Foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. can be found here.


Please note that you can re-enter the United States from Canada with an expired U.S. visa stamp if you meet the criteria.

Check the Canadian visa requirements here. If you need a Canadian visa, you can download the application from the Canadian Consulate website.