by Avi Friedman and Bernard Wolfsdorf
This travel advisory summarizes the main issues and requirements for foreign nationals who plan to travel outside the U.S. to make ensure reentry is as seamless as possible.
If unclear, or if your specific situation needs attention, please check with your Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP professional prior to departure. Simply put, in order to reenter the U.S. you will need a valid immigrant visa (green card) or a valid nonimmigrant visa, or other travel document such as an advance parole travel permit, in order to be able to re-enter the U.S.
Basic Documents Required Re-Entry to the U.S.:
- Passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of intended departure from the U.S.
- Valid U.S. Visa (see below, if applying for a new visa while abroad)
- Original Form I-797, Notice of Approval (for nonimmigrant petition based cases) and a full copy of the petition
- Valid Advance Parole for pending adjustment of status applicants (this must be approved prior to departure, unless you have a valid H-1B/H-4 or L-1/L-2 visa)
- Valid Lawful Permanent Resident Card (“Greencard”) for U.S. permanent residents.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated Form I-94 at air and sea ports of entry. CBP no longer provides a paper form (unless traveling through a land port of entry) and an admission stamp is issued in the passport. The online I-94 (record of admission) should be printed as soon as possible after admission to the U.S. from www.cbp.gov/I94. Please send a copy of your new I-94 to your team at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal each time you return from international travel.
Applying For a Nonimmigrant Visa at a U.S. Consular Post:
- Nonimmigrant visa appointments at many consular posts worldwide are backlogged during the holiday season, so book as far in advance as possible.
- 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. Contact attorney Avi Friedman at email@example.com (or your Wolfsdorf Professional assigned to your case) regarding attorney assistance with such visa applications.
- On November 29, 2016, travelers holding Chinese (PRC) passports with 10-year B-1/B-2 visas must enroll in the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) in order to be admitted into the United States. Enrollment will expire after two years, or on the date the traveler’s visa or passport expires, whichever occurs first. Click here for additional information.
- The Department of State recently implemented a policy of “prudentially” revoking nonimmigrant visas of individuals arrested for, or convicted of, driving under the influence that occurred within the previous five years. While a visa revocation does not become effective until the person travels abroad and does not affect their underlying nonimmigrant status, the visa is no longer valid for travel back to the U.S.
- After departure from the U.S. a non-immigrant with such an arrest and/or conviction must apply for a new visa from a U.S. Consular post and will be referred to a panel physician for a medical exam to determine medical admissibility. Please contact your Wolfsdorf Rosenthal attorney prior to international travel to discuss any alcohol related incident (and/or other criminal incident) and its impact on admissibility and the visa process.
Our firm wishes you a happy Thanksgiving and safe holiday season travels!
Should you have any questions, reach out to any of the Wolfsdorf Attorneys