United States

What To Do After Getting Laid Off With H1b Visa? USCIS Releases Guideline To Extend Your 60-Day Stay

USCIS has provided essential guidelines for H-1B visa holders facing layoffs in the United States, offering detailed options to extend their stay beyond the initial 60-day grace period.

US Layoffs Photo: iStock

Dealing with a layoff in the US? USCIS has released a detailed guide for immigrant workers on options to stay in the country beyond the 60-days.

For nearly a year, US tech immigration workers have faced an unpredictable landscape. Major corporations like Google, Tesla, Walmart, and others have announced sweeping layoffs, casting a shadow over the American dreams of countless immigrants. Many in the US are now struggling to find options. To address this, USCIS has issued guidelines for those who mistakenly believe they must leave the country within 60 days.

What To Do After Getting Laid Off With H1b Visa?

Understanding the options available is crucial when H-1B visa holders face termination. Despite common misconceptions, they possess various avenues to explore before contemplating leaving the country. The following options allow individuals to extend their stay beyond the 60-day grace period:

  • Submitting an application for a change of nonimmigrant status.

  • Filing an application for adjustment of status.

  • Applying for a "compelling circumstances" employment authorization document.

  • Becoming the beneficiary of a nonfrivolous petition to change employers.

Initiating any of these actions within the grace period can extend their authorized stay, even if they forfeit their previous nonimmigrant status.

Furthermore, H-1B nonimmigrants who meet the eligibility criteria can start working with a new employer immediately upon filing the new H-1B petition. The adjustment of status application can then be transferred to a new job offer after 180 days of pending status.

Another alternative is to submit a non-frivolous application for a change in status, which can halt the accumulation of unlawful presence until the process is resolved. This option encompasses transitioning to dependent status, student status, or visitor status.

Employees who qualify for self-petitioned immigrant visa petitions can simultaneously file them along with an adjustment of status application. With pending adjustment applications, these workers can stay in the U.S. and acquire an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Individuals who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and encounter compelling circumstances may be eligible for a one-year EAD. This discretionary provision enables workers to maintain employment while progressing towards lawful permanent resident status.

Knowing about these options is important for H-1B visa holders facing layoffs. It helps them to make better decisions during tough and uncertain times.