Monday, April 6, 2009

Denied Entry to H1B holders at Port of Entry (POE) - A Rumor


Monday, April 06, 2009 | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There is some concern among H1B holders these days about denied entry to US by Immigration Officer (IO) at Port of Entry (POE) after return from home country or abroad. Though, this may be true in particular cases as with every denied cases with USCIS, but if individual is working for a legitimate company with a valid job offer or employment , and have required paper work to show that he/she is currently employed in good standing with the company, then one should not worry. These reportings are definitely a rumor and have no published news to support them.

Recently two weeks back, I went to Canada for a conference and had no issues getting back to USA. Since I had heard of these rumors, I made sure to carry my latest pay stubs and employment verification letter from my employer. Coming back was as easy as getting out of USA.

Only thing that gets me worried every time I come back to USA is how much acquaintant an Immigration Officer (IO) at POE is of current rules and regulations? During my trip to Canada, I had I-797 from my current employer and valid H1B visa stamp from my past employer. When I handed over my visa and I-797 paperwork, Immigration Officer at Port of Entry was surprised to see two different employer's name on two furnished documents. IO just kept checking each of them for few minutes as if to understand that re-entry to USA with two different documents endorsing two different employer's name is an officially recognized rule. I did not bother to say anything until asked for. After ten minutes, paperwork was handed back to me and formalities for immigration clearance commenced. In the meantime, I made sure to eyeball his name tag for future reference incase things go wrong.

This is not the first time that I experienced this. Similar issue was experienced few years back when I was returning on my F1 visa with I-20 for transferred university. I had to convey it to IO that one need not re-stamp the F1 visa after university transfer, as long as my F1 visa is valid. My suggestion to everyone entering back to US at their respective POE is that they should make a note of Immigration officer’s name and badge number for future reference.



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6 comments:

Giri Sugur said...

Thank you CM for posting this.. we may be hearing this because POE officers have become more strict on visa usage review

CM said...

Giri:

You are right on this. IOs are becoming strict because many individuals try to enter US with client letter and job offer from the company that is different from what is mentioned on original I-797. DOL has also become strict on imposing stringent rules to make sure that there is no individual on H1B without pay and should have legitimate client requirements throughout visa tenure. So because of one or two unusual cases, we have started hearing these rumors.

sundeep said...

CM, thanks for the useful tip about IO officer & his badge number.

sundeep said...

CM, thanks for the useful tip about IO officer & his badge number.

Giri Sugur said...

Thank you CM for posting this.. we may be hearing this because POE officers have become more strict on visa usage review

CM_USNonImmigrants said...

Thanks. It is no harm to eyeball those. :)

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