UMD: A Globally Connected University

Travel Abroad

Travel Abroad


ISSS is strongly recommending against undertaking any international travel during the COVID-19 emergency. Please carefully read the list of ongoing concerns below and consider your trip carefully before you finalize your plans to travel:

  • International travel remains uncertain at this time, especially for J-1 scholars and H-1B faculty. From an immigration perspective, international travel is currently very unpredictable. If you are maintaining J-1/H-1B immigration status in the U.S. and you depart, ISSS cannot guarantee your ability to return to the U.S. in a timely manner, which could have an impact on your U.S. visa status. ISSS understands that you may have serious personal or health concerns which require you to depart, or that you may feel more comfortable experiencing this crisis supported by family or in your home country. We want to make sure that as you make these important decisions, you understand the possible risks involved—including the fact that you may not be able to re-enter the U.S. at the time you intend. Additionally, many other countries may have travel restrictions of their own, which could impact your ability to enter those countries or move freely. 
  • There are still ongoing restrictions for entry to the US from several destinations. There are still many travel bans and entry restrictions to the U.S. that you must consider before making travel plans. Please review the following website for a summary of the current US travel bans and entry restrictions to the United States. This is not a final list and more restrictions may be enacted between now and your anticipated return to the United States. Additionally, you will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovering from COVID-19 before boarding a plane to the United States.
  • Visa issuance continues to be delayed or unavailable in many places. If your U.S. entry visa is expired, be aware that applying for a visa for entry could be unpredictable and could cause you to face further delays as many consulates and embassies are closed or operating on emergency appointments only. Please review this website for the latest information on visa appointment wait times. 

We would encourage you to make an appointment with ISSS if you have any questions about the uncertainty of your travel plans or your return to the United States.


H-1B employees who want to travel outside the U.S. should make an appointment with an ISSS advisor to review and pick up the necessary travel documents.  An H-1B employee should always travel with the following documents:

  • A passport (valid six months into the future at all times).
  • Valid H-1B visa.  An H-1B employee who changed immigration status in the U.S. will need to apply for an H-1B visa before re-entering the U.S.
  • Travel Packet prepared by ISSS.  The travel packet contains a complete copy of the petition that ISSS filed with USCIS to obtain the H-1B status for the employee.
  • Valid original I-797 Receipt Notice and copy of I-797 Approval Notice
  • Two recent paycheck stubs to demonstrate that the H-1B worker is currently employed.
  • A letter from the UMD department on UMD letterhead confirming the job title and the job description of the H-1B worker, the purpose for the trip and the expected dates of travel.

Please note that individuals in H-1B status are viewed as having a dual intent when entering the U.S. 

Dual Intent means that the H-1B holder may intend either to return home at the end of the H-1B program or to apply for immigrant status.

Important: A person in initial H-1B status can enter the U.S. up to 10 days before the H-1B start date.