Travel outside the USA while H1B Visa Application is pending?


Warning: Consult your Immigration Attorney before traveling while your H-1B Visa application is pending with USCIS.

In some cases, you could travel and it may be a good thing. For instance, your have STEM OPT for 18 more months and you like to save more money because STEM OPT workers are not required to pay FICA taxes. And it could be risky as well.

H-1B Application for someone located within the US could be applied with Change of Status (COS) application or without Change of Status request.

Applicants applying for H1B from outside the USA, always apply without COS.

When the applicants depart the US while the COS is pending, they are essentially abandoning the COS application. While H1B petition could be approved, COS would not be approved.

If a student on OPT applies for H1B, gets selected in the lottery, then travels outside the US while the application is pending, then the student can enter the US on F-1 (if the stamp is still valid). If the H-1b start date is October 1st, their status will not be switched to H-1B automatically. One has to travel outside the country, attend H1B Visa interview at U.S. Visa post and enter the US with new I-94 on H-1B Status.

pinned #2


Hi ,
Need help, My employeer applied for H1b while i was on F1 opt(initial year), while H1b was in process I went to India and came as my marriage was fixed so can’t skip, but now H1b is approved but my status is still F1 and it is not changed to H1b, my attorney told me that when i will go to India and do stamping than only my status will change.
So my question is, If before going to India for stamping I just change my job and move to some other Employeer so Does that will make any issues in my H1b??
Also another question is If I change job then my new Employeer will consider me as F1 or they can / will need to transfer my H1b to them.??

Please let me know these details on priority please.


I would not try to move before converting into H1B. Current employer could withdraw your H1B.

Your attorney is correct about Stamping.

But, will the status change to H1B if you move to new employer by H1B Transfer. I don’t know. You have to ask an attorney. If you can’t ask your new employers attorney - Use our service -