Published: March 18, 2020

If you would like to leave the U.S., ISSS recommends you consider making plans to leave soon, as future travel restrictions could impede your ability to travel internationally. You will need to carefully consult both the airline and the travel restrictions for the country to which you will be returning. Travel restrictions may change at a moment’s notice. Before you leave, you must make sure you have the most up-to-date information.  

Important Considerations for Leaving the U.S., Working Abroad, and Re-Entering the U.S.

Leaving the U.S. and Working from Abroad 

Prior to leaving the U.S., each H-1B employee and their hiring department must have a discussion about Export Control issues and working for CU while abroad.  SSS cannot advise on the export control process. We recommend that you contact the Export Control office with any questions about export control restrictions that apply to work undertaken by an H-1B employee while abroad.  

Any H-1B employee who is not in the U.S. is not required, from an immigration perspective, to remain on payroll. Any H-1B employees or their hiring departments with questions about this should contact ISSS.  

Returning to the U.S. after Spending Time Abroad 

All H-1B employees must have the appropriate documentation to re-enter the U.S. Below is a list of documents you should have for re-entering the U.S: 

  • Current passport valid for at least 6 months after the end date noted on the H-1B Approval Notice 
  • Unexpired H-1B entry visa (Canadian citizens are exempt from visa requirements).   
  • Original, current  H-1B approval notice (I-797A) 
  • Copy for Form I-129 and LCA  (ISSS provided this to you upon approval of your current H-1B) 
  • Current Employment Verification letter from Human Resources 
  • Printout of your three most recent pay statements  

Please be aware of the need for a new visa or passport before leaving the U.S. The requirement to get a new passport or visa can delay a planned return to the U.S. Many U.S. embassies are currently closed or have reduced their operations. This will create delays for visas once they re-open.  

All H-1B employees must retrieve their I-94 upon re-entering the U.S. The I-94 is an official record of entry into the U.S. It is imperative that an I-94 is properly recorded upon re-entrance to the U.S.  Improperly recorded I-94s can have a negative impact on H-1B status. Therefore, ISSS recommends that, after each re-entry into the U.S., all H-1B employees submit their I-94 to ISSS for review via the ISSS Document Submission Form. ISSS will send a notification and instructions for how to proceed if the I-94 is incorrect.