Blog for Postdocs / Phds, National Interest Waiver, Extraordinary Ability

Disclaimer: The contents in this web site are only for your information and are not intended to be legal advice. While many of our applicants successfully obtain their I-140 approvals, the information here should not be considered as a guarantee of your green card application outcome.

Pending I-140 travel on F1 or Advanced parole

Question:  I got my OPT 17 months extension in May 2013, and last month I applied for I-140 (NIW).  I’m planning to visit my country in near future, so I think it would be better to have H1 rather than  F1-OPT. I have following questions:
Q1: during the processing time of I-140, can I apply for H1 (academic by the University)?
Yes you can apply for a H1B, since the visa holder can posses immigration intent. However, you may not be able to extend an F1 or apply for a J1.
Q2: After obtaining H1 if I140 is still not approved can I go outside USA?
You can always travel outside the USA and reenter using a valid H1B visa. This will not affect your i-140 processing.  However you should get a visa H1B visa stamp at the US consulate in your country.
Q3:After obtaining H1, if I-140 is approved  before I travel outside, can I travel outside USA before applying for I-485?
Yes. Same as question 2.
Q4: After having H1, and if I-140 is approved , and if I applied for I-485 before I travel outside USA, do I have to apply for travel document while I-485 is processing?
In this situation you have two choices. You can apply for an Advanced Parole (travel document) and use it. This is safe since your i-140 is already approved. If you use the AP your legal status becomes “pending i-485” (parolee) and your non-immigrant H1B status is considered abandoned. For your work purpose you can apply for an EAD (in the pendingi-485 status) and use it as a work permit.
Second option is to use your H1B. If you want to use your H1B you should already have a stamp or get H1B stamped. In this case your status is still H1B.
Both are safe options. Most people prefer the former if their i-140 is already approved.
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11 Responses to Pending I-140 travel on F1 or Advanced parole

  • Truth seeker says:

    I have question .i want to visit home . Am on
    F1 visa with opt in progress last week I filed i140 its approval is pending . Can I travel out side USA?

    • GCforPhD says:


      This is little tricky. Usually immigration officers do not deny entry because you are on F1 and have applied for green card. We are not aware on any cases where they were denied entry. However in theory it may be possible.

      If you need F1 stamping then it is certainly not advisable. In your case there is less but still some risk.

      Best wishes

  • Yet says:

    I am on J1 visa that will expire in the next few days but my DS2019 is valid till March 2018. I recently applied for i-140 and plan to travel for a conference in my home country in December 2017. Can I travel out of USA while my my i-140 is still pending. If so, which is the best option after I travel? Is it possible to renew my J1 visa

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      You can travel while I-140 is pending. However, you won’t be able to enter the U.S. with expired J1, even if DS-form is valid. You may not be able to extend J1 if you filed I-140 due to the conflict of intents.

  • hui says:

    I have similiar situation need help.
    I hold J-1, and my I140 got approved. Can my wife back to us with valid J2 after my I140 approval? will it effect our later 486 filing? Thanks.

  • hui says:

    I hold J-1 (not waived), and my I140 got approved. so I plan to do my J-1 waive recently. My wife(valid J2 holder) is outside of US. My question is if I waive my J-1(submit to DOS), will my wife have problem when she enter US later (before J waiver approving)? will this have any effect on our later I485 filing (after 90 days)?

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Thank for the elaboration and congrats with I-140 approval! Your wife can enter on J2 at any time during the waiver consideration. J-waiver being filed, to my best knowledge, does not demonstrate the immigration intent. Also, your I-140 being approved also doesn’t demonstrate the immigration intent for your wife.

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