Our office does not maintain the original I-797 Approval Notices in our files. It is the responsibility of the employee to keep the original copy in their personal immigration records. The Approval Notice is required for future travel.
Please keep a copy of the Approval Notice with your passport and retain copies of all your I-94 Arrival/Departure records in your personal immigration records. Be certain to retain the original Approval Notice in a secure place, as replacing this document requires the filing of an application with the USCIS that can potentially take up to 12 months to receive.
Non-Immigrant Visa Processing (Persons in H-1B,
O-1, or TN Status)
Instructions for Travel Including Re-Entry into The United States
It is recommended that the foreign national employee contact the U.S. Consulate/Embassy in advance of a planned trip to determine if an appointment or any other additional documents are needed.
When processing your visa at the consulate the following information is required:
Please note that the application process to obtain a visa is now web-based and automated.
- A passport valid for the duration of the I-797 approval notice is recommended);
- Original I-797A/B Notice of Action (also referred to as the approval notice) and certified copy of H1B petition (I-129 petition and supporting documentation provided by University of Iowa Faculty and Staff Immigration Services).
- Please go to http://usembassy.state.gov/ for country specific guidelines and requirements on how to book your visa stamping appointment at the appropriate Consulate and how to successfully obtain your H1B visa stamp.
- An Employment Verification letter from Faculty and Staff Immigration
- If processing visas for dependents please provide certified copies of birth documentation for children and marriage license for spouse. (Please have translated into English if applicable).
U.S. Visit Entry Program
Upon entering the United States, you will participate in the U.S. Visit program as you go through customs. You will be photographed and fingerprinted (both index fingers only). This process will add only seconds to your processing – no delay is expected
General Travel Information:
Visas can be issued with one entry or multiple entries. The duration the visa is valid for depends on the applicant's visa category and applicant's nationality (set on reciprocity between U.S. and the foreign country of citizenship.) Consular officers are now instructed to issue full validity visas whenever possible.
It is important to understand that the visa is valid even if the foreign national changes employers during the period listed on visa, as long as they keep the same visa type.
Example: New employee previously worked at Company A with a valid H1B Visa that ends 18 months after employee leaves and obtains employment with Company B. Company B files to “port” (transfer) the employee’s immigration status (H1B). Employee travels using previous company A Visa and new Company B H1B approval notice.
Persons in Adjustment of Status
If previously filed Adjustment of Status application and have plans to travel outside the U.S. please contact our office with any questions.
I-94 Website Travel Records
All nonimmigrant foreign national employees with active cases in our office are required to print their new I-94 upon return from international travel to the U.S., and provide a copy of this document to the FSIS office within 5 business days.