If you are a nonimmigrant worker who has recently been terminated from your place of employment, you may be wondering what will happen to your United States visa status. Rest assured, the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) provides options for individuals in such situations. Continue reading to learn whether you can stay in the United States if you lose your job and how an experienced work authorization permit lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can walk you through your options.
What happens if I lose my job while in the U.S. on an employment-based visa?
Notably, the USCIS gives a discretionary grace period for individuals who have lost their employment so that they can maintain their status for the time being. This grace period is given regardless of whether an individual voluntarily or involuntarily lost their employment. And specifically, this grace period is for up to 60 consecutive calendar days or until the end of the authorized validity period, whichever is shorter.
With that being said, individuals with the following classifications, are eligible for this grace period:
- Individuals in E-1 classification.
- Individuals in E-2 classification.
- Individuals in E-3 classification.
- Individuals in H-1B classification.
- Individuals in H-1B1 classification.
- Individuals in L-1 classification.
- Individuals in O-1 classification.
- Individuals in TN classification.
Importantly, dependents of the above individuals are eligible for this grace period, as well.
So, if you are given this opportunity, you should take these 60 days to seek new employment. And once you do, you must insist that your new employer timely files a petition on your behalf with an extension of stay request. Or, you can take this time to apply to change to a new nonimmigrant status or to adjust your status.
What should I do to stay in the U.S.?
To reiterate, it is important for your employer to timely file a change of employer petition on your behalf, or for you to timely file a petition to change or adjust your status. This is because failure to do so within this 60-day grace period may cause you to be deported from the United States.
For one, if you hold an H-1B visa, you may work toward employment and readmission to the United States once you are abroad. Otherwise, if you are interested in another visa application than what you initially had in the United States, you may work through the application process to seek readmission once you are abroad.
We understand just how time sensitive this matter is. So, we recommend that you retain the support of a skilled Milwaukee immigration attorney. We have experience, and success, with countless cases just like yours. So, pick up the phone and schedule your initial consultation with us today.