Fired or laid off on an H-1B visa? Read our explanation bellow to know what to do.
Employees fired or laid off on a H-1B visa
In recent months, many tech companies in the United States, like Meta, Twitter, Spotify, Microsoft and Intel have carried out huge layoffs in anticipation of what some specialists believe could be an impending recession.
And that brings a problem to many of their workers: a huge percentage of programmers, software developers, engineers, computer engineers and IT specialists from those companies are immigrants. The vast majority is working in the United States with a temporary visa, such as an L-1 or an H-1B visa, for example.
When those employees are fired (or quit their job, for that matter), they have 60 days to seek new employment until their visa expires and they become illegally present in the US.
If your H1-B visa was still valid when your employment ended, then you have 60 days to take action to preserve your immigration status without any kind of penalty. The grace period begins on your last day of employment but it can’t go beyond the expiration date of your USCIS Form I-797 Approval Notice or when your I-94 admission record expires, whichever comes first.
If you are not able to find a new job and file a new Form I-129 with USCIS within those 60 days, it’s recommended that you travel back to your home country in order to not accrue unlawful presence in the US, which can be a huge problem when seeking new visas or immigration benefits later on.
It’s highly recommended that you hire an immigration attorney to guide you during the process, based on your own needs and situation. You might be eligible for a change of status (Form I-539) to a B1/B2 visa or a TD visa, for example.
An EB-3 visa – which grants you a green card – could be an option as well, although it’s a trickier and longer process, not always viable in due time. Again, consult your lawyer.
And remember: the employer is responsible for all transportation costs for you to get back home, if you are unable to find another job during the 60-days grace period. But since the H1-B visa is employer-sponsored, in case you leave the United States, you will not be able to re-enter the country during the grace period.
This is the best time in history for those who want to live and work in the US. If you are a foreign worker seeking for an EB-1A or EB-2 NIW visa, fill out our form to receive an initial analysis of your resume.
And if you represent a company or organization seeking to hire immigrant workers via work visas, such as EB-3, L-1, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, O-1, P-1 and others, then please contact us via our Corporate page or send us an e-mail via firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Corporate Department is ready to assist you with anything you need.