What Does Grace Period for an H-1B Visa Mean?

An H-1B 60-day grace period is granted to employees who are laid off, terminated, or resign from their positions to find a new job or apply for a change of status. During the visa grace period, which begins immediately after the H-1B worker’s last day of employment, H-1B visa holders and their H-4 dependents remain in a valid nonimmigrant status.

It is possible for foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. after their H-1B 60-day grace period has expired if they

1) find a new employer who can file an H-1B visa transfer petition,

2) change to dependent status, if they are having a spouse working in the US on an H-1B or L visa, or

3) find an employer who fosters them on a different visa type

Employees should note that it is impossible to travel internationally during an H-1B grace period.

Here’s more information on H-1B visa blogs:

Complete Process and Guidance on When to File an Amended H-1B Petition

H1B Application approval things to know

Lottery for H-1B Visas (How Does It Work?)

How to Request an H-1B 60 Day Grace Period

An H-1B grace period request form does not exist. The beneficiary automatically receives a grace period if he or she files an H-1B transfer or change of status petition. An explanation of the beneficiary’s job loss and supporting evidence will be required by the petitioner.

Who is Not Eligible for an H-1B Grace Period?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant beneficiaries a 60-day grace period if they quit or resign from their jobs; however, beneficiaries without convincing evidence of hardship may not be granted a grace period. H-1B beneficiaries should make sure they don’t quit their jobs without valid reasons.

A worker who accrues unlawful presence in the United States, engages in unauthorized employment, or commits similar actions may also be denied or have their grace period shortened by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Your Transfer to a New Employer

For the H-1B transfer to be completed, a new employer must complete the sponsorship process again. Upon request from the employer, USCIS reviews and approves the I-129. Good news are that this new H-1B visa transfer process will not be entered into the lottery and the employee can transfer to its new employer at any time.

Here’s more information on H-1B visa blogs:

H-1B 60-Day Grace Period: How Long Can an H-1B Worker Stay in the U.S.

WFH for H1B, new LCA needed; amendment required

How do extensions and renewals for H1B visas work?

What are the rules on H1B Renewal

Changing Your Status Into Dependent

If you were on an H-1B visa you are able to maintain your authorization and you can continue working in the U.S. if your spouse is having its own H-1B visa and can claim dependency on your behalf.

Children under the age of 21 on H-4 visas and spouses can be sponsored by an H-1B beneficiary.

By filing the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, spouses can be allowed to work in the U.S. and will then receive an Employment Authorization Document card once the Form I-765 has been approved.

Do You Want to Learn More About the H-1B Visa Grace Period Process?

For help on non-immigrant affairs, feel free to contact us at BAIS.

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