Aerial view of the Montclair State University Campus.

Travel in H-1B and H-4 Status

International travel can be daunting, so this page is designed to assist you with applying for or renewing an H-1B or H-4 visa and passing through Customs to enter the U.S. In addition, please refer to the university’s Immigration-DACA page before you travel.

Whenever you will travel outside the U.S. and reenter in H-1B status, please carry the following documents in your carry-on bag: 

  • Form I-797 Approval Notice (with I-94 card if you have not previously departed the U.S.) for the H-1B petition
  • H-1B visa (If you do not have an H-1B visa, please see the “Applying for an H-1B or H-4 Visa” section below.)
  • Passport should be valid for 6 months at time of entry to the U.S. (However, if the country from which your passport was issued is listed here under Countries That Extend Passport Validity for an Additional Six Months After Expiration, the country extends passport validity for an additional six months after the passport’s expiration date, so you may use your passport to enter the U.S. as long as it is unexpired.)
  • Copy of Montclair State job offer letter signed by the President of Montclair State University and any subsequent reappointment letters
  • Copies of last four pay stubs
  • Recommended: recent employment verification letter from HR
  • Copy of most recent Form W-2 from Montclair State University, if you have one

If an H-4 dependent will be traveling with you or alone, your dependent (or you, on a dependent child’s behalf) should carry the following documents in a carry-on bag: 

  • Copy of the employee’s Form I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B petition
  • Dependent’s Form I-797 Approval Notice (with I-94 card if your dependent has not previously departed the U.S.) for the I-539 change of status application
  • H-4 visa (If you do not have an H-4 visa, please see the “Applying for an H-1B or H-4” section below.)
  • Passport should be valid for 6 months at time of entry to the U.S. (However, if the country from which your passport was issued is listed here under Countries That Extend Passport Validity for an Additional Six Months After Expiration, the country extends passport validity for an additional six months after the passport’s expiration date, so you may use your passport to enter the U.S. as long as it is unexpired.)
  • Copy of the H-4 dependent’s birth certificate (for a child) or marriage certificate (for a spouse)
  • Copies of the H-1B employee’s official job offer letter signed by the President of Montclair State University and any subsequent reappointment letters
  • Copies of the H-1B employee’s last four pay stubs
  • Recommended: copy of the H-1B employee’s employment verification letter from HR
  • Copy of the H-1B employee’s most recent Form W-2 from Montclair State, if applicable

If your H-1B petition has not yet been approved, you have a pending change of status application (I-129 or I-539) with USCIS, or you are in the midst of an application for Lawful Permanent Residency (e.g., I-140 or I-485), please speak with Elizabeth Gill, Director of International Employment and Immigration, before making travel plans.

I-94 Information: 

  • Always check your I-94 stamp before leaving the Port of Entry (airport or U.S. border) to be sure that your name, date of birth, classification (H-1B/H-4), and date of entry are correct. If anything is incorrect, get it fixed before you leave the airport.
  • After arriving in the U.S., check your electronic I-94 information to verify that it is also correct. If any corrections are needed, please contact Elizabeth Gill for assistance.

Applying for an H-1B or H-4 Visa

Review the visa stamp in your passport and, if your visa is expired or you do not have an H-1B/H-4 visa, schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate or embassy abroad. The Department of State’s website provides wait times for securing a visa interview and visa processing. You will need to complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application and pay any related fees required by the Department of State. The Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee for H-1B petitions is $190. In addition to preparing the documents listed in the below checklist, please review this guidance entitled Guidelines for Applying for a Non-immigrant Visa (PDF)‌.

These are the documents you as an H-1B employee should carry to your visa interview:

    • Form I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B petition
    • Complete copy of your H-1B petition, which can be obtained from Elizabeth Gill, Director of International Employment and Immigration, if you do not already have one
    • Valid passport
    • Copies of official job offer letter signed by the President of Montclair State University and any subsequent reappointment letters
    • Copies of your last four pay stubs, if a continuing employee
    • Recommended: recent employment verification letter from HR, if a continuing employee
    • Copy of your most recent Form W-2 from Montclair State, if you have one and are a continuing employee

These are the documents your H-4 dependent(s) should carry to the visa interview:

    • Copy of the H-1B employee’s Form I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B petition
    • Proof of marriage and/or proof of a birth certificate
    • Form I-797 Approval Notice for the I-539 change of status application, if applicable
    • Valid passport
    • Copies of the H-1B employee’s official job offer letter signed by the President of Montclair State University and any subsequent reappointment letters
    • Copies of the H-1B employee’s last four pay stubs, if a continuing employee
    • Recommended: copy of the H-1B employee’s recent employment verification letter from HR, if a continuing employee
    • Copy of the H-1B employee’s most recent Form W-2 from Montclair State, if applicable

If you have additional questions about your travel, please contact Elizabeth Gill, Director of International Employment and Immigration, for assistance.

Reentering the U.S. with Automatic Visa Revalidation

Automatic Revalidation allows certain nonimmigrants to depart the U.S. and re-enter with an expired nonimmigrant visa stamp in their valid passport after visiting Canada, Mexico or an “adjacent island” for less than 30 days. The policies and regulations regarding Automatic Visa Revalidation from the Department of State should be reviewed carefully before you travel; it is also highly recommended that you print out a copy of the Department of State’s guidance to carry with you when you travel.

According to the Department of State, nonimmigrants who otherwise meet the requirements are NOT eligible for Automatic Visa Revalidation if they:

  • Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
  • Applied for a new visa and was denied;
  • Have been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
  • Have traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
  • Are a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism.
  • Are in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
  • Are in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the United States, other than Canada and Mexico.

You must have the following documents to re-enter the U.S. using Automatic Visa Revalidation:

  • Form I-94 or Print-Out of Electronic I-94. Get the printout of your electronic I-94. If you have a paper I-94 card (card attached to your Approval Notice or in your passport), you must be sure that the Customs officer/airline attendant does not take your I-94 upon your departure from the U.S. If you have an electronic I-94 and plan to depart the U.S. by plane but reenter by land, you should be sure that the Customs officer gives you a new I-94 number when reentering the U.S.
  • Immigration Documents/Other Documentation: You will need all of the documents listed above under “Travel in H-1B and H-4 Status” except the valid visa. In addition, if you have renewed your passport and the expired visa is in your old passport, you must carry the passport that contains your expired visa.

Travel to Canada

Citizens of certain countries must have a visa to enter Canada. To find out if you need a visa and to obtain visa application instructions, please refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). You may also visit the page for the Canadian Consulate in NYC.

Travel to Mexico

Anyone who visits Mexico must have a tourist card or visa; these may be obtained at the Mexican Consulate. For a list of required documents, please refer to the Mexican Consulate in NYC.