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I am an Indian national living in the US. My H-1B (1st term) expired in August 2016. I have an I-797A (H-1B visa extension document) valid until July 2019. I went to the Turkish Consulate in Boston to get a visa sticker but they said I am still eligible for an e-visa and was told to show my I-797A upon arrival. Has anyone traveled to Turkey with an I-797A as a supporting document?

My itinerary is Boston to Istanbul (5 day stay), on to India and return to Boston.

  • when you will be coming back, can you reenter usa on I797A or you need a proper visa, just asking? – Ali Awan Dec 2 '16 at 4:48
  • I need a proper H-1. I will be getting it done before coming to US – msd_2 Dec 2 '16 at 13:17
  • @Giorgio, were you able to get the e-visa based on your valid I797A? I am in a similar boat and would really like to get some insight. Thanks. – trishulpani May 27 '18 at 16:00
  • @trishulpani I merely edited the question, while another user answered, below. However, look at the comment by Dennis which suggests that the I797A may be insufficient, that it may not be accepted either for travel or entry. – Giorgio May 27 '18 at 17:09
  • @Giorgio - thanks for your reply. I called up the Turkish consulate in NY and also sent an email. I got conflicting answers and it seems there isn't sufficient information that the officials will consider I797A as a valid supporting document. I was advised to raise a Visa pre-application if I don't meet the e-visa criteria. Seems like too much trouble. I'm shelving the plan for now. – trishulpani May 27 '18 at 19:22
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Has anyone traveled to Turkey with I-797A as a supporting document?

"Form I-797A: Is issued ONLY to people who are currently in the U.S. and are undergoing a change of status (F-1-H-1, H-1-H-1, l-1-H-1, etc.).

The “A” is for change of status approved, which means the applicant can continue to remain in the U.S. and work. Hence, I-797A will have an I-94 attached to it to endorse the status approved."

Source:Form I-797A

Moreover you have already mentioned that you have I-797A (H-1B visa extension document) valid till July 2019, means you are a legal resident and can continue to work and remain in the USA till 2019.

As you have already visited the most trusted authoritative place (Turkish consulate in Boston), therefore you will have to follow their instructions means simply apply for Turkish e visa.

Here is the website where you can simply apply online for evisa:

Turkey e visa

You must meet all the requirements listed below in order to obtain an e-Visa and I-797A (H-1B visa extension document) is a valid supporting document.

enter image description here

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    I'd be a bit uncomfortable with this. The I-797 documents an extension of H-1B status in the US but does not extend the H-1B visa. His visa is expired and he needs a new one to reenter the US. If Turkey is happy with the I-797 in lieu of a valid visa that is great, but I hope the airline sees it the same way since he technically has no valid US visa and that is the Timatic requirement. – Dennis Dec 2 '16 at 16:01

protected by phoog Jan 21 '17 at 4:19

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