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Immigration Central | What to do if you're on an H-1B Visa and lose your job in the US?

After Twitter layoffs, Stripe cuts 14 per cent of its workforce, the focus is back on corporate giants — Amazon, Lyft, Intel, Apple — tightening their belts. What happens to the immigration status of laid-off immigrants on H-1B Visa in the US?

November 17, 2022 / 07:34 PM IST
Representational image. (Photo: James Yarema via Unsplash)

Representational image. (Photo: James Yarema via Unsplash)

As Twitter began layoffs of roughly half of its 7,500-person workforce, the focus is back on other giants in the Silicon Valley — Amazon, Lyft, Stripe, Intel — tightening their belts and laying off staff. Online payments company Stripe has let go of  14 per cent of its staff, Amazon and Apple are freezing their hiring, transportation company Lyft would cut 13 per cent of its workforce. What happens to the immigration status of laid-off immigrants on H-1B Visa in the US? Is there a grace period? What are the status-change options?

H-1B employment is position and employer-specific. If your job has been terminated or you quit voluntarily, your H-1B status ends. The immigration regulations require that the employer notify both the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Labor that it is withdrawing the labor condition application (LCA).

Grace period: The H-1B status ends when your employment is terminated, not when the visa is revoked. That means that your 60-day grace period is activated when you stop working for your employer.

Prior to January 17, 2017, the grace period for a terminated H1-B employee was only 10 days, which meant that those who have had their visas revoked or had experienced a layoff had to leave the US within 10 days. However, now H-1B regulations allow for a discretionary grace period of up to 60 days following the end of H-1B employment. This grace period extends from the day you cease working for your sponsoring employer and it is only granted once during each visa validation period.