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Is stamping required? Same employer, New i797

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Posted by tumble1234 (5) 13 Jan 2018#1
Hi Guys

I will be travelling to India in July and my current h1b visa is expiring in Nov 2018. I have a new i797 from my current employer which is valid until 2020.
So when I go to India do I need to get stamping or can I travel back using my current visa which is valid until Nov 2018?
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Posted by binodp (2) 13 Jan 2018#2
You are good to visit India and do not need any stamping. I did this last year in april 2017, i have visa stamped till sept 2017 in my passport from previous employer and I 797 from new employer till Feb 2018. What i did is that port of entry i showed them approved 797 and he didnt asked me any question.
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Posted by tumble1234 (5) 13 Jan 2018#3
to binodp:

Awesome. Thanks
At the Port of entry when you showed the officer your new 797, did he extend your i94 expiry date until Feb 2018?
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Posted by binodp (2) 13 Jan 2018#4
Yes he extended it till Feb 2018.
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Posted by tumble1234 (5) 13 Jan 2018#5
to binodp:

Thanks a lot Binod
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Posted by usics (745) 14 Jan 2018#6
to binodp:

Your answer is right.
But sometimes there are scenarios where the airlines don't allow you to board without valid visa stamp. So I would check with the airline instead of last minute hassle.
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Posted by tumble1234 (5) 14 Jan 2018#7
to usics:

Hi

But in my case even when I come back from India I will have a valid visa stamp since it will expire I'm Nov 2018.
Then what is the issue?
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Posted by usics (745) 14 Jan 2018#8
to tumble1234:

Help me understand: l Is your current visa stamped in passport is for the same employer for which you have approved I797 until 2020?
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Posted by tumble1234 (5) 14 Jan 2018#9
to usics:

Yes it is for the same employer. There is no new employer here
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Posted by h1bx (24) 16 Jan 2018#10
If it is the same employer and if you have a new petition valid till 2020 why dont you apply for Visa stamping in dropbox and get your visa extended? That will help you instead of having all this confusion.

If you have less than 60 days in your active visa, Immigration officers might not allow you to enter . So better be prepared with the documents rather than taking extreme scenarios.

This is just my idea. Check with your attorney to be sure.
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Posted by waitforever123 (558) 16 Jan 2018#11
to h1bx:

Unnecessary.. he may or may not have time to go to stamping.. USCIS don't ever stop you on that reason alone..
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Posted by h1bx (24) 16 Jan 2018#12
to waitforever123:

I agree, but if he has time it is better to get it done. I know few who had issues with less than 2 months of visa and few who entered with just few days of visa left and had no issues.

So the safe option is to get it stamped , if not plan to reenter atleast 60 days before visa expiry.

Just my 2 cents.
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Posted by waitforever123 (558) 16 Jan 2018#13
to h1bx:

Do you know anyone that was denied entry? There is no 100% safety.. you can't just do things just in case, the list will become too long.
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Posted by h1bx (24) 16 Jan 2018#14
to waitforever123:

Like I said above I know a person who had issues with the travel, not sure of the exact time, but less than 2 months.
I dont know anyone who got rejected entry because of this.

Again as I said above I gave info which I came across and even my company(WITCA) attorneys dont allow to travel if the visa expiry is within 2 months.

I am just giving info what I know of. I am not an attorney or a immigration expert, so it is just my opinion.
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Posted by waitforever123 (558) 16 Jan 2018#15
to h1bx:

I understand, it is better to be done if you have time. But there are many times you travel for 1-2 week or you travel with not much planning, so it is important to know what is legally allowed rather than what is convenient. If they hold you additional 1 hour(because you wait in the queue) for clarifications does not present itself as issue to me, if they are going to denied entry, that is the issue.
I think the reason he is asking the question here is because he either do not want to go to stamping or don't have time to do so. I would never go to stamping unless it is required, it is additional cause of anxiety during travel. People with families don't travel outside the country as frequently as others, so it is not always useful to have stamping on passport.
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Posted by Yaaro (263) 16 Jan 2018#16
to tumble1234:

No need. But, if you have time, just use the drop box stamping facility. So that, you don't need to worry the about visa until 2020.
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