New H1B Visa Guidelines for Laid-Off Holders Released by US

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has rolled out new guidelines aimed at assisting H-1B visa holders navigating employment termination amidst recent mass layoffs announced by major corporations such as Google, Tesla, and Walmart.

These guidelines provide a lifeline for affected individuals, offering pathways to extend their stay in the United States beyond the standard 60-day grace period post-job loss.

Among the options outlined by USCIS, H-1B visa holders are advised to initiate a change of non-immigrant status within the grace period and file for an adjustment of status application. Additionally, they may request consideration for “compelling circumstances” to qualify for a one-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Moreover, individuals are encouraged to pursue a change of employer by applying to become beneficiaries of nonfrivolous petitions.

Emphasizing the concept of mobility, USCIS highlights the ease with which qualified H-1B non-immigrants can transition to new employment opportunities. This flexibility allows individuals to commence work with a new employer while awaiting approval of their nonfrivolous H-1B petition.

Moreover, those eligible to apply for immigrant visas through self-petitioning can simultaneously submit their petitions alongside adjustment applications. During the processing of their adjustment applications, these individuals may remain in the US and obtain an EAD, facilitating their continued employment.

In cases where individuals obtain immigrant visa petitions based on employment but encounter significant challenges, USCIS may grant them a one-year EAD to alleviate their circumstances.