In the technology sector, there have been many layoff announcements lately. This is especially important for people in the tech sector. On a Work Visa, you can enter the U.S.. There are many skilled workers in the tech industry who have been granted visas. Some may wonder what to do if they lose work.
A lot of immigrants work in America. There are two types of visa: the employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant. An employment-based immigration visa allows someone with the necessary work experience, education, skills to be allowed to stay and work in America permanently.
These are some things you should know Losing your job due to a visa What the implications could be.
H-1B visa, one of the most relevant visas to the discussion is one. The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that lets U.S. employers hire foreign workers for jobs that are specialized and require a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. These jobs can be in areas such as finance and engineering.
To be eligible for an H-1B visa in the first place, a person needs a job offer from an employer for a role requiring specialized knowledge and proof of a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the field.
The employer also has to show there’s a lack of qualified applicants in the U.S. for the role.
Register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before you can enter the U.S.A. in the H-1B category. You must first register with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and then be chosen to apply.
There’s a big demand for visas, so there’s a cap on how many are issued each year.
If you have a master’s degree from an institution in the U.S., there are an additional 20,000 visas available past the 65,000 caps per fiscal year.
If You Lose Your Job
If you’re in the U.S. and you lose your job while you’re on the H-1B visa, you’re immediately considered out of status in the U.S.
The reason that this happens is that if you’re an H-1B visa holder, it requires that you are actively employed to keep your lawful status. Similar rules apply to most work visas including O, H, and L.
Your employer must withdraw your work visa petition if it lays you off. That lets the government know that you’re out of status as a visa holder.
While you are out of status, it doesn’t mean you have to immediately leave the U.S. necessarily or that you’re right away at risk of deportation.
There is a grace period
If you lose your sponsored employment because of being laid off, you’ll usually have a 60-day grace period. During this time, visa holders are expected to find new employment, after which they would have to leave the country if they aren’t able to do so.
USCIS guidelines stipulate that the 60-day count begins from the date you last worked, not the day you last received pay.
If you’re an immigrant worker who’s laid off, you’ll probably opt to stay in the U.S. during this window or until your I-94 expiration date, whichever is first. This would allow you to seek out other jobs.
What options are available?
Every person is different, and you have three options in the event that you lose your work visa.
First, you can decide to leave the U.S., which isn’t the common option.
Your company should discuss relocation plans and expenses if you plan to move to the U.S. Your employer must offer to cover your travel costs to get you back to your country of origin or your previous country of residence if your H-1B visa sponsor terminates your status.
You can also find Change of Status Options, and these are available if you didn’t have six months or more of unlawful presence.
You should be familiar with a few concepts if you are looking for new employment. First, portability. Second is the 60-day rule.
Portability rules allow a worker visa holder to stay in the U.S. for up to 60 days after their I-94 expiration or until they are able find work. If you find a new employer who will sponsor you within 60 days or before your I-94 expiration, then the new employer can file what’s called a Labor Condition Application or LCA with the Department of Labor on your behalf.
After the LCA has been certified, the sponsoring employer may file Form I-129m for Nonimmigrant Workers. It is filed at the USCIS, and will continue your immigration process.
The H-1B visa is granted once the petition is approved. Transfer to your new employerPorting is also known as.
This portability process makes it simpler to change employers since you aren’t applying for a completely new visa.
Before the expiration of your grace period, you must start looking for employment or apply to work.
Before the grace period ends, your LCA must get approval. Otherwise, you’re risking complications and lapses in status.
Once your petition for a change in employer is granted, you are eligible to start work.
You can also apply for another type of visa such as the B-1 or B-2 tourist visas. The H-4 dependent spouse visa and student visas are available.
If you’re a Mexican or Canadian national, you can apply for a TN visa, which would also allow you to work in the U.S. with options to renew.
Professionals who are eligible for O visas may apply. Demonstrate extraordinary abilities.
These are just a few of the immigration pathways available if you lose your employment, and there are routes where you can stay in the U.S. even if you’re laid off and you hold an employment-based visa, but you have to be proactive to figure out what’s right for you to avoid lapses in status.