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Do those with a U.S. work visa have to leave if their job ends?

Do those with a U.S. work visa have to leave if their job ends?

On Behalf of  | Jun 26, 2023 | Employment-Based Immigration

Having a work visa and a steady job allows nonimmigrant (temporary) employees to continue enjoying life in New York. Unfortunately, most jobs do not last forever, and you may lose yours due to downsizing or other reasons.

You probably expect that you will need to pack up and leave the U.S. if your employment ends, but that is not necessarily the case. The government offers several ways for those here on a work visa to remain.

Grace period

If your job ends unexpectedly, you don’t need to leave immediately. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives nonimmigrants with an active work visa a maximum 60-day grace period to make other arrangements. The grace period typically begins on the day you last worked.

Change of status

The USCIS allows those who have lost a job to file a non-frivolous change of status petition. For example, if you have extraordinary abilities, you may qualify to change from a basic work visa to an O-1 visa. This visa applies to scientists, engineers and even actors.

New employment

Since work visas cover specific occupations and employers. However, getting a new job is just one step. Your employer boss must sponsor you and complete the necessary requirements. In some cases, the USCIS may expedite this process on your behalf.

These are not your only potential options if your job ends while your visa is still active. Regardless of how you want to move forward, you will likely need to complete documentation and other requirements set forth by the USCIS. Having legal guidance can help you consider all of your options and avoid mistakes that would disqualify you from staying in America.

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