By: WR Partner Avi Friedman
As many of our clients will be traveling abroad over the upcoming summer season, this brief travel memo summarizes the basic requirements for international travel/return to the United States.
Please note that DHS and DOS policy often changes with little or no prior notice, so we encourage you to check with your WR attorney prior to your international travel.
The basic documents required for travel and re-entry to the U.S. include:
- A passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of intended departure from the U.S.;
- A valid U.S. visa;
- The original Form I-797, Notice of Approval (for non-immigrant petition-based cases);
- A valid advance parole for pending adjustment of status applicants (or a valid H-1B/H-4 or L-1/L-2 visa);
- A valid Lawful Permanent Resident Card (“Green card”) for U.S. permanent residents;
- It should be noted that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated Form I-94 at air and sea ports of entry. The paper form is no longer provided and a CBP admission stamp is issued in the passport. The I-94 (record of admission) should be printed as soon as possible after admission to the U.S. from www.cbp.gov/I94.
If you need to apply for a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. Consular Post, please consider the following:
- Nonimmigrant (NIV) appointments at many consular posts worldwide are backlogged during the summer season;
- Most applicants between ages 14 years and 79 years must have an in-person consular interview;
- Consider Third Country National (TCN) processing at a U.S. consular post in Canada or Mexico. TCN processing at border posts is a complex and highly specialized field of U.S. immigration law. Applicants should be aware of the significant risks, including potential delays for security clearances/administrative processing (see https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/administrative-processing-information.html), denials and most important, the inability to return directly to the U.S. if rejected/delayed. The advice of an experienced attorney is highly recommended to research post policy, thoroughly review the applicant’s U.S. immigration history and status, properly prepare the visa application forms and supporting documents, and be available to assist the applicant with the visa process.
- Appointment scheduling times can be checked online at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html;
- U.S. Consular Posts links can be found at https://www.usembassy.gov/;
- Any individual with a criminal arrest and/or conviction, immigration status issues, or potentially subject to the Trump Travel Ban should consult with immigration counsel prior to departing the U.S.
Safe travels and a have a great summer!
If you have questions or problems, please email your assigned WR professional or contact us at email@example.com. For emergencies call 1-800-VISA-LAW or (310)570-4088.