Experienced Immigration Counsel

Can a job loss lead to removal for someone with a work visa?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Uncategorized

Career development is one of the ways people become eligible for visas. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows established and educated professionals to live in the United States while working a domestic job if they secure a visa. They can often bring their spouses and unmarried minor children with them.

There is an assortment of different visa programs for those who want to work in the United States. Those who have achieved career success in a particular field might qualify for a visa if they take a domestic job with a new employer. There are also visas available for those accepting a transfer within a company that already employs them.

Most workers are dependent on their jobs for financial stability. Non-immigrant employees with visas also depend on their jobs to legally remain in the United States. As a result, it is understandable that someone who has an employment visa may worry that losing their job could mean that they will lose their right to stay in the country.

There is a grace period for some workers

In general, foreign nationals living in the United States need to remain compliant with the special rules for their specific visas. Those with work-related visas generally need to maintain their employment to protect their immigration status. However, job loss can sometimes occur through no fault of the worker. Losing a job and then facing removal from the country would likely mean major financial challenges and disruption to someone’s personal life. Therefore, the USCIS does offer a bit of leniency for those with certain work visas.

Those with E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1 or TN visas who lose their jobs have up to 60 days in which they can apply for new work and file paperwork with the USCIS to remain in the United States. Especially if someone has significant skills, they could very likely obtain a new job before the USCIS would demand their removal from the country.

In some scenarios, workers who have lost their jobs and, therefore, their eligibility for a work visa may be able to apply for other immigration opportunities. Learning about the rules that apply during different immigration challenges can help people reduce any status-related disruptions that their families may experience after traveling to the United States for a job. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to gain this clarity.