Employee Travel

Employees may travel within the U.S. or abroad, but they must follow certain restrictions and carry valid identification and travel documents. These restrictions vary according to visa category. Jump to:

H-1B travel

The following documents are required.

Travel within the U.S.

  • Valid passport
  • Copy of H-1B approval notice

Traveling abroad

  • Original H-1B approval notice;
  • Copy of the Labor Condition Application (LCA);
  • Valid passport (6 months into the future) with valid H-1B visa stamp;
  • Copy of your I-129 petition;
  • Updated employment verification letter from NU department stating that you are currently employed, dates of employment, salary, job title and brief description of job duties.

Dependents:

When traveling, H-4 dependents should carry with him/her: a copy of the H-1B Approval Notice; copy of the H-1B petition most recently submitted to USCIS; as well as any other relevant documents related to H-4 status (Approval Notice, H-4 visa stamp); and a valid passport.

Expired visa stamps

If your H-1B visa stamp has expired, you must obtain a valid H-1B visa stamp to re-enter the U.S.

  • Exception: If you are traveling in Canada or Mexico and will stay for less than 30 days, you can re-enter the U.S. on an expired visa stamp. Longer visits will require a valid stamp to re-enter.

Status changes

If you are changing or extending your H-1B visa, you will need to obtain an H-1B visa stamp to re-enter the U.S. in H-1B visa status.

  • This includes H-1B beneficiaries with a change of status (COS) within the U.S. who are currently in H-1B status with an Approval Notice. If the visa stamp is from another visa category (e.g. F-1), then he/she will have to obtain an H-1B visa stamp to re-enter the U.S. in H-1B visa status.
  • If an H-1B beneficiary is traveling while an H-1B extension is pending and will be re-entering the U.S. close to the expiration date of his/her current H-1B, he/she is encouraged to carry the documents listed above plus the extension Receipt Notice and copies of the extension petition with him/her while traveling.
  • If an H-1B beneficiary who is changing employers (COE) is traveling with a valid visa stamp from another employer, he/she is required to bring all of the documents listed above.

Border crossing

When crossing the U.S. border, be prepared to answer specific questions about your current H1-B petition. You may be asked about: the nature of your employment (i.e. NU department, job title); specific job duties (i.e. job description); exact work location; or salary.

Occasionally individuals are selected for secondary inspection. Reasons for this inspection might include:

  • Your travel documents are incomplete or you do not have the proper documents or visa
  • You appear to have previously violated your immigration status
  • You appear to have a criminal record that is of concern
  • You have been selected for a random inspection.

If you are pulled into secondary inspection, please answer all questions directly, truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.

E-3 travel

Traveling abroad

  • Valid E-3 visa stamp
  • Valid passport

Although not required for travel, the following documents may support your E-3 status. They are on file in the IO office and are available upon request.

  1. Original E-3 approval notice (I-797A) -- If an E-3 visa holder received his/her E-3 visa stamp in Australia, he/she will not have this document
  2. Original E-3 extension receipt notice (I-797C)
  3. Copies of USCIS approval (COS/COE) petition
  4. Copies of USCIS extension (EOS) petition
  5. E-3 visa support letter
  6. E-3 status letter

Please request these documents through our online Scholar Document Request form and allow 2 weeks for processing. The IO will notify you when we receive your request and when your request has been processed.

Status changes

If you are extending your E-3 visa, and you plan to travel while the extension is pending, you may be able to enter the U.S. close to/after the expiration of your current E-3. However:

  • Please notify the IO of your plans before departure.
  • Take your extension receipt notice (I-797C) and copies of the extension petition with you while traveling.

TN travel

Traveling abroad

  • A Canadian TN may travel and re-enter the U.S. as long as the period noted on the I-94 is valid.
  • Mexican TN holders must ensure that the TN visa stamp in their passport is valid for readmission.

Status changes

If you are extending your TN visa, traveling while the extension is pending with the USCIS may create complications.

  • Please notify the IO of your plans before departure.
  • The IO will then request that USCIS send the electronic approval notice to the nearest U.S. consulate/embassy (for Mexican TN-holders) or location of pre-flight inspection/border crossing (for Canadian TN-holders).

Legal Permanent Resident travel

An H-1B employee with a pending I-485 is permitted to travel abroad under the following conditions:

  • H-1B is valid
  • H-1B visa stamp is valid
  • The passport is valid

However, if the underlying H-1B is not valid, then an alien must apply for a travel document called Advanced Parole before leaving the U.S. Otherwise, the adjustment application is deemed to have been abandoned if the beneficiary leaves the U.S.