The H-1B Visa Grace Period: What to Do After Losing Your Job On an H-1B Visa

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During this five-minute video, Chugh, LLP Attorney Joy Dungca and Immigration Consultant Jagan Tamirisa discuss what an H-1B visa grace period is, how to obtain one, and what options an H-1B holder has to remain in the US after losing their job.

The H-1B visa program offers a 60-day grace period for individuals that are laid-off, terminated, or resign from their position. During this period, H-1B visa holders can remain in the United States while they find a new job or apply for a change of status.

The grace period:

  • Begins the day immediately after the H-1B worker’s last day of employment.
  • Allows H-1B visa holders and their H-4 dependents to maintain valid nonimmigrant status.
  • Does not allow H-1B workers to travel internationally.
  • Does not require a formal application process.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could deny an H-1B grace period for beneficiaries who do not have convincing evidence of hardship. For this reason, H-1B beneficiaries should avoid resigning from their jobs unless they have legitimate justification.

Foreign nationals can remain in the US beyond their 60-day grace period if they:

  • Find a new employer that can file an H-1B visa transfer petition,
  • Find an employer to sponsor them on a different visa type.
  • Change to dependent status if they have a spouse working in the US on an H-1B or L visa, or

Conclusion

For help exploring immigration options for yourself or an employee, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.

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