Hi,I need to travel to India in the month of November 2018 (last week of Nov) .My current petition is valid till March 2019. I am planning to appear for visa stamping with my current I797-A.Is it okay to go for h1b stamping when you have about 3-4 months validity on I797-A ? Thanks in advance!!

In my opinion, it is a little risky considering the current situations. But if you really need to travel , then please carry all necessary documentation including employment history and letters. Ideally, there is no rule on how much months of validity is required on the petition during stamping. In the past, anything more than 3 months was considered ok.

How is your employment ? If you are directly employed with client as FTE , please carry a letter from employer mentioning your role and that your employment will continue beyond the end date of the petition.

If you are on contract , please carry letter from your direct employer and end client.

Also, I hope that your HExtension is in process , you may also carry your receipt notice as additional evidence .

Honestly, I am more concerned about the CBP entry point. The VO may not have a huge concern, it is the CBP officer who would question if you are close to I797 expiry. Employment letters will help in this case. Also, please give a heads up to your manager / supervisor who is signing these letters. CBP officer will try to contact them for additional verification. These things are very normal these days.

Hope this helps.

This is not a legal opinion.


Hi Subha84,

Thanks for answering my question.

I am working for a reputed service based company at their client location. I will obtain proof of employment letter from my employer before travelling.

Also, I will be opting for drop box facility as I am eligible for it.

I haven’t applied for extension yet, As suggested by my employer. They will submit extension documents once I am back in US.

I am going to return in third week of December which is about 3 months before I797 expiry.


Hi Anonymous89,
Please share your experience on stamping, I am in a similar situation and need to travel to India at the end of January 2019 with I797 expiring in May 2019.


Did you get the visa ok? Please share experience same situation


Please share your experience…i am having same simiar situation

Update on my travel -

  1. I got my passport stamped without any issues.
  2. I was able to enter easily. No complex questions were asked. The officer only asked about my employer and let me through…

All went smoothly…look for my comment to the question

Hi ankg,
How was your experience?


We are in the same situation. Petition expires on May 1 2020 and stamping date is scheduled at Jan 22 2020. We don’t qualify for dropbox, we need interview. We ll be traveling back by Jan end. Will this be an issue with the VO or at the port of entry?? Anonymouse89, ankh, shlalwani please share your thoughts…