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Guidelines For H-1B Holders Who Have Been Laid Off

Guidelines For H-1B Holders Who Have Been Laid Off

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued new guidelines for H-1B visa holders who have been laid off from their jobs.

This comes in the wake of major layoffs announced by corporations such as Google, Tesla, and Walmart, which have significantly impacted many immigrant workers on H-1B visas.

The USCIS guidelines provide various options for these individuals, offering them a chance to extend their stay in the U.S. beyond the 60-day grace period given to H-1B visa holders who lose their jobs. Here are the options available:

1. File for a Change of Nonimmigrant Status: This must be done within the grace period to switch to another visa category.

2. File an Adjustment of Status Application: This allows individuals to apply for permanent residency (green card).

3. File for "Compelling Circumstances" EAD: Under certain compelling circumstances, workers may qualify for a one-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

4. File to Become a Beneficiary of a Nonfrivolous Petition to Change Employers: This allows H-1B visa holders to transition to a new employer based on a filed petition.

Additionally, the concept of portability under USCIS rules enables eligible H-1B nonimmigrants to smoothly transition to new employment opportunities.

This flexibility allows individuals to start working with a new employer as soon as a nonfrivolous H-1B petition is filed, without waiting for its final approval.

Workers who are eligible to apply for immigrant visas through self-petitioning can submit their petitions concurrently as they apply to adjust their status.

While their adjustment applications are processed, these workers can remain in the U.S. and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

In situations where individuals have approved immigrant visa petitions based on employment and are facing significant challenges, they may be eligible for a one-year EAD.


Tags: H1-B Visa USCIS Immigration Laid Off