Travel Out & Reentry: H-1B, E-3, & O-1

In order to return to the United States after a visit abroad, H-1B, E-3, and O-1 temporary workers need to present:

  • a valid passport (valid 6 months beyond H-1B, E-3 or O-1 approval expiration);
  • a valid H-1B, E-3 or O-1 visa stamped in the passport (certain exceptions apply);
  • the employee portion of the I-797 approval notice (not required for E-3); and
  • a copy of their most recent pay stub (recommended).

A valid visa is required for entry to the United States with limited exceptions.  If the entry visa stamp in your passport has expired and you plan to travel outside the United States, you must renew your visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad (new window)Visa stamps are never issued or renewed in the United States.  Allow 2-8 weeks for processing. 

Some visa applicants will also be subject to additional administrative processing because of their countries of origin, citizenship, fields of study, or at the discretion of the Consular Officer. Administrative processing commonly takes 6-8 weeks.

You should contact OGS prior to applying for a visa to request a letter of support. You are also advised to bring the original I-797 approval notice as well as the copy of the H-1B, E-3 or O-1 petition as well as the original USCIS J-1 waiver approval (if applicable).

The immigration officer should inspect your passport, visa, and I-797 approval notice, return them to you, and issue an electronic I-94 record with the appropriate status and expiration date which you can access after your arrival.

Review the OGS Know Your Rights at the Airport (PDF) handout prior to re-entry to the US to familiarize with your rights.

After entry, the student or scholar should download the I-94 Record to verify that the entry was properly recorded electronically. A copy of this electronic entry record should be printed for personal records after each entry to the United States.

During entry procedures, scholars should answer all questions clearly. Omission or misrepresentation of information can result in denial of entry. If you encounter any serious difficulty:

Monday – Friday between 9am – 5pm: Call OGS at (202) 687-5867

After Hours or Weekend: Call Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) at (202) 687-4343. GUPD will contact OGS to assist you.

Travel to Canada and Mexico is handled somewhat differently than travel to other countries.

The automatic visa revalidation provision allows those whose U.S. entry visa has expired to briefly visit Canada or Mexico and return to the United States without applying for a new visa at a U.S. consulate. The following rules apply to automatic visa revalidation:

  • The visit must not exceed 30 days and may be spent only in Canada or Mexico.
  • You must not be a citizen of a country that the Department of State has determined to be a sponsor of terrorism (new window).
  • You must have a valid  I-797 approval notice.
  • You must have a valid passport (valid six months beyond your approval notice).
  • You must have maintained status while in the United States and intend to resume that status when you return to the United States.
  • You must present the most recent I-94 record (new window).

Many scholars will need tourist visas to enter Canada and Mexico. Contact the embassy (new window) of the country which you intend to visit and check entry visa requirements before making travel arrangements. 

NOTE: Federal regulations prohibit those who have been denied a visa at one of the U.S. consulates in Canada or Mexico from returning to the United States. Those whose visa applications are denied must return to their home country and apply for a new visa at the U.S. Consulate in the home country prior to returning to the United States. If you are interested in more information, please read about applying for a visa and how to make an appointment for a visa interview in Canada or Mexico (new window).

Please visit the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Website for additional information on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).