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Is There a 60-day Grace Period for H-1B Laid-off to Looking for a New Job?

Hi William:

I am a H-1B visa holder working for a consulting company. It is be possible that I may be laid-off a in near future due to the company's slow business. Is it true that there is a USCIS policy giving a 60-day grace period to such H-1B laid-off to looking for new job?


Some H-1B visa holders believe that there is a USCIS policy giving a 60-day grace period to laid-off H-1B aliens during which he or she can look for a job, and the USCIS is required to approve a new H-1B transfer petition if it is filed within 60 days. 

According to USCIS, the H-1B nonimmigrant is admitted into U.S. to be employed by the H-1B visa petitioner. If such employment ends, the previous employment conditions no longer exist, and the H-1B employee is no longer in a lawful nonimmigrant status. Thus, the H-1B visa or status holder may not be able to transfer to another company, with certain exceptions. 

Therefore, there is no such 60-day or even 10-day grace period for laid-off H-1B employees to find another job, once the H-1B alien is no longer in a lawful status in U.S., and may normally have to leave the U.S.  

If the H-1B employee has a pending Form I-485 adjustment application or has filed an application of change status (such as H-4), the H-1B alien may be eligible to remain in the U.S. However, USCIS may need to make a decision on a case-by-case basis, to grant the extension or change of status despite the failure to maintain status.

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