I had to leave the USA 6 months ago because I lost my job. I was on a J1 visa at that time. I have around 7-8 K$ in credit card debts with three different companies. I have been unable to pay them back (even the minimum payments) because of the current financial situation and also the currency difference. Recently I have been offered a job in the US, and I am looking to apply for an H1B visa. Can this cause any rejection if I try to apply for the H1B visa?

1 Answer 1


The US Citizenship and Immigration Services looks at your credit report for immigrant visas. If you stay in the US long enough to apply for permanent residency / green card, at that time the USCIS will check your credit report. If it's "bad enough", the USCIS might say, no, you could become a "public charge" / need welfare / dole / assistance. I'm not sure whether your is "bad enough" yet.

The USCIS does not check credit reports for non-immigrant visas, such as H1. I'm not sure what "I have been offered a job in US and I am looking to H1B visa" means. Do you have an offer that's contingent on your getting a work visa?

If you do return to the US, your bad credit report could cause problems, for example:

  • If you want to rent a place to live, the landlord is very likely to check the credit report of the prospective tenant, and refuse to rent if the report is "bad enough".

  • if you want a loan, e.g. in order to buy a car, many lenders will wither refuse ro deal with you at all, or will charge much higher rate of interest on the loan than for someone with a better credit history. Similar problems arise if you try to lease a car or obtain certain kinds of insurance coverage.

  • the only kind of credit card you'd be able to get is a "secured" one, where you'll deposit some money at a bank as collateral and be able to charge up to the amount kept at the bank.

  • for most white-collar jobs, the employer will check the job applicant's credit history as part of the application process, and may refuse to hire... your job offer may be contingent on that too.

  • the banks that held your old credit card debts might sell your debt to collection agencies / lawyers competent enough, once they realize that you're back in the US, to sue you in court, win a judgment, since you really have no defense, and garnish your wages or drain your bank account.


You can get your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com . Beware of similar scam sites.

You can try to improve your report by paying back some of the money that you borrowed. Figure out who owns your debts, since they may have been sold to collectors. Negotiate a settlement, for example, making up some numbers, perhaps you owed $8 thousand, and you promise to repay $1 thousand a month for only 6 months, and the remaining $2 thousand will be forgiven if you repay as promised. You should be able to negotiate this yourself without hiring representation. Importantly, financial institutions are required to send Form 1099-C to you and to the Internal Revenue Service reporting the "forgiven" amount, and you will need to include it in taxable income on your US income tax return.

  • 2
    The US Citizenship and Immigration Services looks at your credit report - citation needed. Are you sure about that?
    – littleadv
    Sep 7, 2023 at 15:47
  • @littleadv e.g. cliniclegal.org/file-download/download/public/3962 Sep 7, 2023 at 16:13
  • How's it relevant for H1b? There's no public charge issue with H1b
    – littleadv
    Sep 7, 2023 at 16:16
  • 1
    @DimitriVulis: That document is outdated. It relates to the 2019 public charge rule, which was struck down by the courts in 2021, and replaced by a new public charge rule in 2022. One is not required to submit evidence related to credit history under the 2022 rule.
    – user102008
    Sep 7, 2023 at 16:41
  • 2
    Your answer is very confusing. I didn't even notice that sentence. Most of it (other than that specific sentence) is completely irrelevant to the question and just throws the reader off. Maybe clean it up a bit?
    – littleadv
    Sep 7, 2023 at 16:49

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