can I travel outside of US and come back using my h1b visa
June 16, 2008 6:19 PM   Subscribe

I want to go to Canada for a little vacation with my family. Can I legally travel outside of U.S. and come back using my H1b visa?

Could someone provide me with a credible source online (or even helpful pointers) that states the technicalities of H1b visa concerning traveling around north America? some of my Friends have assured me that it is possible but I don't want to make a hassle for myself (go over the border and not be able to come back). Also my family has H4 visas, how would it work for them?
posted by clueless22 to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
From a very brief Google search it seems to depend on which country you hold a passport in. Certain instances you would need a travel visa others you might not need anything more than your H1b visa. Lots of info out there using very basic Google search phrases, good luck.
posted by huxley at 6:49 PM on June 16, 2008

i imagine calling either your native embassy (or nearest consulate) might be fruitful.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:59 PM on June 16, 2008

This site seems to imply that travel with your H1B should be fine as long as you bring the right documents. Note also that you don't have to surrender your I-94 as long as you're going to Canada for under 30 days, or get a new one on your way back in. (This means that you can travel to Canada even in certain situations you can't travel overseas, IIRC).
posted by goingonit at 8:04 PM on June 16, 2008

You need a physical h-1b visa in your passport. (It is possible for example, to be h-1b via a status adjustment that happened while in the USA, and if this is the case and you don't have the visa in your passport, I wouldn't recommend leaving, but IANAL)
(The visa has your photo on it, among other things if it doesn't, it's probably the i-94. If you have the visa you'll know all this, but if not, you might not, so thought I'd mention it)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:59 PM on June 16, 2008

posted by -harlequin- at 12:02 AM on June 17, 2008

On paper, as cited by goingonit and -harlequin- above those in valid h1b nonimmigrant status can travel on short trips to Canada. Of course on paper is not always the same as in reality when faced with a CBP officer on a bad day, but, don't let that scare you. Go, but make sure all your paperwork is in order. An important but often overlooked detail is making sure that your passport has at least 6 months of validity left before it expires. If not, get a new one through your Embassy.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:34 AM on June 17, 2008

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