If my H1B is pending, can I leave the US and return by applying for visitor visa (B)?

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2012

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If my H1B is pending, can I leave the US and return by applying for visitor visa (B)?

My employer filed H1B for me but it is pending. My OPT is expired and I do not have intention to work before my H1B is approved. Can I leave the US to attend a conference and return by applying for visitor visa (B) for a short term visit?

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Immigration Law, Washington


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can try but if the H-1B is approved in the interim and it was filed as change of status, you will still need to go back to your home country to get a H-1B visa.  It is also somewhat unlikely that you will be granted a B-1 visa when it is seen in the computer that you have a pending H-1B visa petition.  Even if you already have a B-1 visa in your passport, you may still be denied entry at the port of entry because of the pending H-1B visa petition.  You do know, do you not, that if your OPT has expired, you have an additional period of time of 60 days, which is the grace period.

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