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Can I travel outside the U.S. while my H1B application is pending?

Unfortunately not. If you depart while your H1B change of status application is pending, then the USCIS will deem the application to have been abandoned. The H1B petition, however, will still be active. So, if you do leave the U.S. while your H1B change of status application is pending, the only way to reenter the U.S. is to wait until the H1B petition has been approved, apply for a visa at the U.S. consulate abroad, and then enter the U.S. in H1B status.
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