Travel Information for your Employees

Traveling after initial entry to the U.S. requires international employees and visiting scholars to be aware of the requirements for visa issuance as well as admission and inspection policies when arriving to the U.S. or traveling within the U.S.  While the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security are trying their best to minimize potential delays it is important to remember that security measures have become stricter and tracking programs and electronic systems have been implemented.
Note that international employees and visiting scholars should not travel overseas when a petition for change of status has been filed and is pending adjudication with USCIS. By traveling overseas the change of status will be deemed abandoned. 
Additionally, nonimmigrants in H-1B, O-1, E-3, or TN status who are applying for an extension of status within the U.S. must be physically present in the U.S. on the date the petition for extension is filed with USCIS. Notify IFSS of any travel plans when a petition for extension is being prepared.

Before Leaving the U.S.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors must visit our office with their DS-2019s and the DS-2019s of any dependents traveling with them so that we can endorse the travel validation section of the form(s). They should also carry a current letter from the host confirming their continuing visit to your department.
  • H-1B, O-1, E-3, or TN status employees should make arrangements to pick up their I-797 approval notices.  If they have to apply for a visa they must pick up a copy of their petition.  They should also carry a current letter from your department confirming their continued employment.

WARNING:  H-1B status will be terminated for those who have applied for Permanent Residence and intend to travel overseas and return using their Advance Parole documents.
Applying for a Visa Stamp at U.S. Consulates
International employees and visiting scholars who require visas in their passports to return to the U.S. will need to obtain the visa stamp from a U.S. consulate abroad.  We recommend that before traveling they visit the 
consulate or embassy website for information on application procedures and required documentation.
Delays may occur at U.S. consulates.  For this reason, we encourage international travelers to make their visa appointments as soon as their itineraries are set.  Also, they should consider scheduling their visa appointments near the date of arrival.  In the event of an administrative review, this may help minimize a possible delay in their return to the U.S. 
If their work is in the field of technology, engineering, or the sciences, they may be questioned closely by consular officers about the details of the job. As a result, there may be additional visa delays as consular officers seek security advisory opinions from other federal agencies. 
Arriving in the United States 
Upon arrival to the U.S. and completion of the inspection process, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will stamp the employee’s travel document with the admission date, the class of admission, and the date through which he or she is admitted. The entry is electronically recorded as well. The I-94, the record of admission, also shows the date of admission, the visa classification, and the period of admission. I-94s can be retrieved on the 
CBP website.   
If they enter the U.S. as a J-1, the period of admission should appear as “D/S” for “duration of status”.  If they arrive as an H-1B or O-1, the date should coincide with the expiration date on the I-797A Approval Notice.  
Upon return to the U.S. they must provide ISFS with a copy of their new I-94s. Employees in H-1B, E-3, TN or O-1 status must return the original I-797 Approval Notice to ISFS (TAMU employees) or to the employer (employees of TAMU System members).
 Traveling within the United States and within the State of Texas also requires that international employees and visiting scholars carry evidence of their legal status in the U.S. Besides a valid passport, they must carry a valid I-94 which establishes the authorized period of stay in the U.S.  J-1 scholars must also carry their DS-2019s.  In some instances international employees and visiting scholars may find themselves in a situation whereby their previous status has expired but a timely extension or change of status has been filed with USCIS. In these instances, it is advisable to carry a copy of the Notice of Action (Form I-797C) evidencing such filed extension or change of status. Our office may be contacted to obtain a copy of the notice.  In addition, the employing department, as in the case of overseas travel, may want to provide a letter attesting to the current employment. Failure to carry these documents while traveling in the U.S. could result in serious consequences if asked by immigration enforcement officers (at, but not limited to, Border Patrol checkpoints) to produce evidence of immigration status.    


ISFS cannot offer guidance on visas required by other countries. It is your responsibility to determine what entry and/or transit visas are required for your trip.

Foreign national employees and visiting scholars at Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M University System agencies can have access to our emergency after-hours contact number. They may call this number if they experience immigration difficulties upon entering the U.S. outside of normal business hours, and they or the U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers need to contact us. This number is only for immigration emergencies and should not be used for any other purposes.
Before traveling, they should contact our office at 979-862-1719 or to receive the after-hours emergency phone number.