Holiday Travel Advisories and Planning for 2013 H-1B Employees

01 November 2012 Publication

Holiday Travel Advisories

During the months of December and January millions of people depart and re-enter the United States. Persons in nonimmigrant or "temporary" visa statuses should be prepared for their re-entry after holiday travel.

  • Ensure that foreign passports are valid for at least six months past the date of re-entry into the United States.
  • Ensure that visas and visa statuses previously granted are valid past the date of anticipated re-entry.
  • Schedule visa interview appointments at U.S. consulates and embassies outside the United States, if necessary, well in advance of the anticipated date of re-entry into the United States.
  • Carry an attorney-certified copy of the original status petition and the Notice of Approval when re-entering the United States.
  • Carry foreign passports and the I-94, Arrival/Departure document on your person at all times to prove valid status while in the United States.
  • U.S. permanent residents who will live outside the United States for more than six months at a time should obtain a Re-Entry Permit to avoid losing their green cards.

If an employee's nonimmigrant visa status will expire before June 1, 2013, notify your immigration counsel now. The extension of status petition should be filed immediately so that the new visa application may be scheduled at a U.S. consulate or embassy during winter trips abroad.

The Department of State has recently released updated, detailed information regarding security risks in traveling to Mexico, Honduras and Chad. For this information and more travel advisories, visit the Department of State website at

Plan for 2013 H-1B Employees Now

April 1 is the first day that employers may submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for new H-1B employees to begin work on Oct. 1 of the same year. In the past, USCIS would receive more than 200,000 applications for the allotted 65,000 visas within a few days of April 1. Since 2008, however, hiring in the United States has been slower and H-1B applications received by USCIS did not reach the 65,000 "cap" until many months later.

In 2012, the cap was reached in early June. Immigration specialists expect a return to the days where employers had "one shot" to file an application for its employees: April 1.

Contact immigration counsel in January to begin the strategy and preparation of H-1B applications for new employees, employees in other visa statuses, and students who are working pursuant to student-based employment authorization.

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