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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17 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.

  • Nirav says:

    Hello, I have a similar question on J1, I am on J-1 Scholar here in the USA and planning to travel outside the USA in March 2018 for not more than 10 days and my DS-2019 and Visa expires in April 2018, i recently filed I-140 and it’s pending, So during this I-140 process can i travel? Please suggest me what to do, i already booked my flight

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      You can travel while I-140 is pending, no I-485 was filed and your J1 is valid. However, please take into account that you should not apply for I-485 within 90 days after entering the U.S. on J1 (which might be a problem, taken the timeframe you provided).

  • Hari Barla says:

    I hold J-1 visa expired last year but I have valid DS-2019 until March 2019. I have all my applications pending EB 1A I-140, I-485, I-131, I-765. I got advance parole for one-month validity under medical emergency. I am planning to travel to India for a week. Is there travel effect my pending applications or is there any problem inadmissible?

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Unless your I-140/I-485 gets denied while you are in India, you should not have problems reentering U.S. on advance parole, nor it would affect your green card application.

  • Ali Hassan says:

    I’m currently in the US on a J-1 visa with the 2-year home residency requirement. I have a few question that I would very much appreciate if you can help answering.
    1. Can I apply for EB2-NIW Form I-140 before waiving the 2-year home residency requirement?
    2. If so, can I apply for EB2-NIW Form I-140 from inside the U.S. and then leave the U.S. right after and finish the rest of the process from my home country once the Form I-140 is approved?
    3. I understand that I cannot apply for a change of status unless the 2-year home residency requirement is waived. My question is what will happen if my request to waive the requirement is denied? Can I still apply for a change of status after satisfying the requirement (i.e., staying in my home country for 2 years)? Will the approved Form I-140 remain valid?
    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Tigran Kalaydzhyan says:

      Hi Ali,

      1. Yes, you can file I-140 before obtaining the waiver.
      2. Yes, you can do that. Please keep in mind that you have to choose the consular processing option in the I-140 in this case.
      3. Yes, you can still apply for the green card in this case (keep in mind that the adjustment of status is the term for obtaining the green card while you stay in the U.S. If you’re outside the country, it’s the green card application, not the adjustment of status). Yes, approval for your I-140 will be valid.

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