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Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Old May 27th 2016, 3:13 pm
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Default Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

As the title says, my I485 has been approved and I received the welcome notice this past weekend. I have not yet received the physical card. I will be travelling to Europe this weekend and unless the card arrives today (doubtful), I won't have the card when I travel. However, I do still have a valid H1B visa and I work for this company still.

Will it be ok for me to reenter the US with the H1B visa. I know it would be fine while the AOS was being processed but I'm not sure now, although I think it should be fine??
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Old May 27th 2016, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

No, because you are now a US PR and can't use a visa to enter the USA. Try making an Infopass appointment to get an I-551 stamp in your passport before traveling.

How long will you be outside the USA? If your physical card comes in the mail, have the person picking up your mail send it to you via a trackable method.

Worse comes to worse, bring the welcome letter with you and show it to the POE agent when you turn to the USA. He can verify your status as a US PR.

You won't be returning on the H-1B no matter what.

Rene
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Old May 27th 2016, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Thanks - that's what I thought (although I hoped otherwise)!

I tried to make an infopass appointment when I received the welcome notice this weekend and again today but there are none available for almost 2 weeks. I will only be out of the US until June 6th and will not be in the same physical location so I don't think having it mailed would work - especially with the holiday weekend.

I will be returning through Dublin where they have pre-clearance. I'll make sure I leave plenty of time for any issues and have the welcome letter with me. It can't be uncommon to be approved while traveling which would generate the same issue.
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Old May 27th 2016, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
No, because you are now a US PR and can't use a visa to enter the USA. Try making an Infopass appointment to get an I-551 stamp in your passport before traveling.

How long will you be outside the USA? If your physical card comes in the mail, have the person picking up your mail send it to you via a trackable method.

Worse comes to worse, bring the welcome letter with you and show it to the POE agent when you turn to the USA. He can verify your status as a US PR.

You won't be returning on the H-1B no matter what.

Rene
Are you talking from recent personal experience or theory?

I was in exactly this position except on an L1 in 2011. I got an infopass before I left the US, but despite having the approval email they could not see what they needed in their system and would not stamp my passport with a I-551. When I returned I told the agent I was an LPR waiting for the GC, he stamped me in as an L1. Further, before I left I emailed with the CBP at the London embassy to confirm if I would need a transportation letter but they advised that either a unexpired AP letter or the L1 visa was fine. What the actual rules are I don't know, but that's my real life experience and I had no issue.
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Old May 27th 2016, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

In 2013, my AOS was approved while I was overseas, and the card arrived the day before I flew back (so, no time to send it over). I never applied for EAD/AP. Upon arrival, I explained the situation and was admitted on my (valid) H-1B with little comment.

I visited a deferred inspection site shortly thereafter with my GC in hand, and was sent away "because there is nothing to process."
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Old May 27th 2016, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

My apologies, I was going on theory. Thank you for the real life experiences. Learned something today!

Rene
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Old May 27th 2016, 10:30 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Thanks everyone. It didn't show up in the mail today so I'll travel with my H1B and approval letter just in case! I do have AP but think that would be tge last option. I will report back on my experience when I return.
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Old May 28th 2016, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Yeah you need the I-797, that's the key bit.
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Old Jun 7th 2016, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Just to update: I flew back through pre-clearance at Dublin and they admitted me on my H1B status. There didn't seem to be any issues at all.

I'll actually be traveling back to the UK again next week for business, hopefully that goes smoothly too. Still have not received the green card (online status still in approved and no change to card production ordered).
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Old Jun 8th 2016, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Had a similar situation except traveling on advance parole with an expired H1B visa stamp. I had a "computer says no" moment on my return and was sent to secondary, where they asked "Where's your green card?". I said "Oh great, has it been approved?" and after much calling of supervisors and tapping at the computer I was on my way. If I recall correctly, I was admitted as a PR. There seems to be some latitude, but I would avoid implying that you had deliberately left the country with AOS granted but no physical card.
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Old Jun 9th 2016, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Travel with approved I485, Valid H1B but no green card

Second update: got an I-551 stamp in my passport at an Infopass appointment this morning. Online status says the card was mailed yesterday bit who knows if it will arrive before I leave again on Saturday. The officer today didn't think it would!
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