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Holiday Travel Tips for International Employees

Dec 5, 2023

A woman travel during the monkeypox pandemic

With the holidays just around the corner, many employees across the U.S. are planning international travel to visit loved ones or enjoy some vacation and time off work. However, for international employees holding U.S. work visas, planning a trip outside the U.S. requires careful consideration to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore essential holiday travel tips for U.S. work visa holders.

Check Passport Expiry Dates

Before embarking on your holiday journey, check the expiration date of your passport. It should be valid for at least six months beyond your authorized period of stay in the United States. If it does not meet this requirement, it may be necessary to renew your passport before traveling to avoid any complications during your return.

Verify Visa Stamp Validity

Before traveling, ensure that your visa stamp accurately reflects your current nonimmigrant visa status. If you need a new visa stamp, be aware of potential issues and plan ahead to address them. Delays in visa processing can occur, so start the renewal process well in advance.

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Gather Your Documents to Bring When Traveling Outside the U.S.

When traveling outside of the U.S., work visa holders should make sure to bring the following documents:

  • A valid, unexpired passport (with a validity of at least 6 months beyond their authorized period of stay in the U.S.)
  • A valid visa stamp that reflects their current nonimmigrant visa status, such as an H-1B visa stamp.
  • An I-797 approval notice or an endorsed I-129S, depending on the individual’s visa status.

Understand Reentry Requirements

With any international travel, it’s important to be aware of the reentry requirements for U.S. work visa holders. Familiarize yourself with the specifics of your visa category, including any travel restrictions or conditions. This knowledge can help you navigate customs and border control more efficiently, without any surprises.

Notify Your Employer

It may be helpful to inform your employer about your holiday travel plans, including the duration of your absence. Some employers may have specific procedures or notifications required for international travel.

Need more travel tips? We’ve put together a guide on how to navigate U.S. airports, including how to navigate immigration checkpoints, U.S. customs, and more.