Travel and Re-entry
Information for University Departments
Obtaining an H-1B Visa Stamp
Whether planning to enter the US from abroad to begin employment or re-entering the US after a trip abroad, with the exception of Canadians, international employees who intend to have H-1B status must have a valid H-1B visa stamp for entry to the US.
An H-1B visa stamp must be obtained from a US Consulate outside of the US. It is not possible to obtain an H-1B visa stamp from inside the US. In general, the Office of International Service recommends taking the documents listed below to the US Consulate visa interview appointment. For a list of suggested documents from the specific US Consulate where the visa interview will be held, visit www.travel.state.gov.
- Photocopy of H-1B approval notice (I-797)
- Note: Original required at Bogota Consulate
- Current letter from huring department confirming employment, position title, and salary
- Photocopy of H-1B petition (Form I-129) including Labor Condition Application (LCA)
- Documentation of having resided legally in the US, if applicable (e.g. previous I-20, IAP-66 or DS-2019, I-797 from other employers)
When applying for a visa stamp be advised that security clearances can sometimes be required before the US Consulate will issue the visa stamp. Security clearances, based on name, country of citizenship/birth, or field of study/research, can take 2-6 weeks to resolve. In rare cases, they can take more than 6 weeks.
When making travel arrangements to your home country or elsewhere, please keep the possibility of these additional wait times in mind. As always, be sure also that your department is aware of your travel and the possibility of these additional wait times. If you already have a valid visa stamp and do not need to apply for a new one, the above information will not affect your current travel plans.
For more information about obtaining an H-1B visa stamp, please contact a member of the Scholar Services team.