It’s the season of lay-offs and companies are on a lay-off spree. While some have been impacted, others fear they might suffer soon enough. But what happens to the laid-off non-immigrant workers working in the US? Well, we are here to put your anxiety and questions to rest.
The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) has been working for employees who are laid-off and have H-1B visas. The foundation recently wrote to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about the impact of layoffs in the technology sector and sought an increase of up to 60-day grace period, PTI reported.
The USCIS has said that those who are holding H-1B visas and have been fired from their respective jobs, don’t have to leave the country within 60 days, the report said. They in fact have multiple options to stay.
The report further claimed that the USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou, in a letter to the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies, has clearly addressed the issue and said that when non-immigrant workers are laid off, they sometimes wrongly assume that they have no option but to leave the country within 60 days, which is not the case.
What are the options for a non-immigrant worker if and when they are laid-off?
The USCIS said that when a non-immigrant worker is laid off, they take one of these four routes: They either file an application for a change of non-immigrant status or file an application for adjustment of status or they can file an application for “compelling circumstances” employment authorization document or be the beneficiary of a non-frivolous petition to change employer.
The USCIS has said that if they take any of these routes within 60-days of grace period, then their authorised period of stay can exceed the 60-days, even if they lose their previous non-immigrant status. However, if they take no action within the grace period, their dependents may have to depart the US within those 60 days, or whenever their authorised validity period ends.