Travel While H1B is Pending and F1 Visa Expired

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Question: Anybody knows whether it’s an issue to travel outside the country after receiving STEM OPT, while having a pending H1B petition, with an EXPIRED F-1 visa?

This would mean that, in order to re-enter the country, I would need to get a new F-1 visa. I hear that getting the new F-1 not guaranteed if you have a pending H1B case and that they could reject it.

Travel While H1B is Pending:

Refer to this article – Is it Ok to Travel While H1B Visa is Pending to learn about the impact to Change of Status petition.

In this case, please run this with your Employer’s Attorney or external legal counsel.

Travel While H1B is Pending and F1 Visa Expired

Here is how I would make a decision about pending Immigration case and impact on Re-Entry:

  1. Best Case Scenario:
    1. Travel while H1B is Pending – Change of Status is Abandoned
    2. F1 Visa is approved while on OPT or STEM OPT
    3. No problems at the Port of Entry
  2. Worst Case Scenario: 1
    1. Travel while H1B is Pending – Change of Status is Abandoned
    2. F1 Visa is Denied
    3. Wait for H1B Visa Approval & Attend H1B Stamping
  3. Worst Case Scenario: 1.1
    1. Travel while H1B is Pending – Change of Status is Abandoned
    2. F1 Visa is Denied
    3. Wait for H1B Visa Approval & Attend H1B Stamping
      1. Best Case: H1B Stamping is Approved
      2. Worst Case: H1B Stamping is Denied or 221(g)
  4. Worst Case Scenario: 2
    1. Travel while H1B is Pending – Change of Status is Abandoned
    2. F1 Visa is Denied
    3. Pending H1B Visa petition is also Denied

When you are considering making tough decisions, don’t post your requests about trying to find if someone else has traveled in similar situations and got F1 Approval.

travel h1b visa pending f1 visa expired

Visa stamping and USCIS application approval are based on your situation. You have much bigger problems to worry than F-1 Visa approval.

Please consult an Immigration Attorney before deciding to book your tickets.

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