The H1B visa is valid starting from the 21st of September. If I take a multistop flight from New Zealand that passes through Honolulu and LAX on its way to Seattle, will my visa validity be checked at Seattle, or when I enter the US (Honolulu), or will it vary?

The stops at Honolulu and LAX are on the 20th of September local time whereas the arrival in Seattle is on the morning of the 21st.

I was just wondering because I would like to arrive as early as possible.

  • 2
    Honolulu-Seattle is a domestic flight... Jul 24 '18 at 0:53
  • 3
    Before embarking on your initial flight. Don't risk it, you'll be at the mercy of the check in agent. Jul 24 '18 at 0:55

Visa validity is checked superficially at check-in. This is done by the airline to avoid penalties should it let someone fly who should not. This is not the official check though.

The official check happens at your first port of entry into the US. This will be Honolulu in your case. At that point you will enter the US and your subsequent flight will be domestic one, so you will not need to show your visa again in Seattle.

  • 1
    Not entirely accurate. Delta for example has a very thorough document check BEFORE the check in counter in all African countries. He wouldn't be allowed through there. I am talking from experience. Jul 24 '18 at 1:21
  • 1
    Indeed, Delta is pretty strict about it but they do not have the final word, I've seen it even from Canada. Only immigration does the real check. Unfortunately, the have the first check, so they could deny entry to someone that immigration would let in.
    – Itai
    Jul 24 '18 at 2:42
  • @ltai Well you nailed it. They have the first check and will deny you before you get access to immigration. Jul 24 '18 at 10:53
  • Hey guys, thanks for all the help. So as a follow up I was wondering, if I applied for the ESTA, from my understanding I would be able to get into the states early aslong as I wont be working until my H1B is valid?
    – Billy Bob
    Jul 25 '18 at 7:26
  • 1
    @Itai but it is not possible to change from visa waiver status to H-1B status without leaving and reentering the US. VWP status is for 90 days, not 6 months.
    – phoog
    Jan 2 '19 at 13:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.