H-1B Visa Application

Review the list of documents required for traveling on H-1B status  

  • If you need to obtain a U.S. visa, contact a U.S. Consulate to find out if there are any additional documents required, to confirm the latest visa fees, and to schedule a visa appointment. You can find links to the U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad on the Department of State website at: http://www.usembassy.gov  

Read the tips below to help make the process go smoothly:

  • Security Clearances. Plan your trip in advance--some visa applications are subject to a greater degree of scrutiny and additional screening may be required. Allow sufficient time before you make final travel arrangements. Find additional information about security clearances here 
  • Canadian Citizens. Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa stamp requirements. They can apply for admission at a pre-flight inspection or port of entry by presenting documents required for traveling.
  • Automatic Revalidation. If you are travelling to Mexico or Canada for 30 days or less, special visa revalidation rules apply. You need a visa stamp (valid or expired), I-94 form, the original and valid I-797 approval notice, and other applicable documents required for traveling. We encourage you to consult BIO at h1b@berkeley.edu for more information.
    • Nationals from Iran, Syria, and Sudan are not eligible for Automatic Revalidation.
    • If you travel to Canada, or Mexico, and you do apply for a U.S. visa during the visit, you are not eligible to reenter the U.S. using Automatic Revalidation. Reentry to the U.S. will be possible only if the appropriate entry visa stamp is approved. Unsuccessful visa applicants will be unable to return directly to the U.S. They will have to travel to their home country to apply for a new visa stamp.
    • More information and restrictions can be found on the Department of State website.
  • Third Country Nationals. If you are planning to apply for a visa stamp in a country other than your home country, confirm with the U.S. consulate that they will issue a visa stamp to a "third country national." Since there can be risks in applying for a visa in a third country you can consult a BIO advisor by emailing h1b@berkeley.edu. You can find links to the U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad on the Department of State website at: http://www.usembassy.gov

US Department of State Announces New Domestic Visa Renewal Pilot Program

  • The US Department of State has posted information and FAQs on the pilot program to allow certain H-1B nonimmigrants to renew their visas in the U.S. Applications will be accepted from January 29, 2024 to April 1, 2024, or until all application slots are filled, whichever comes first. See the US Department of State website: Domestic Renewal of H-1B Visas for Certain Applicants
  • Eligibility is limited to a narrow group of individuals. Individuals can check if they are eligible for this program by using the Navigator Tool on the website that says "Am I Eligible for Domestic Renewal". Individuals who do not meet the requirements, or those who choose not to participate in the pilot program, may continue to apply for visa renewal at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas.

Upon your return to the U.S., please email BIO at h1b@berkeley.edu a copy of your latest I-94.