Remaining in the United States if You’ve Been Laid Off

Remaining in the United States if You’ve Been Laid Off


Layoffs are currently sweeping the tech industry. We’re also seeing layoffs in major corporations like Pepsi, and H&M. 

If you’re here in the United States on certain types of work visas, you might be worried about how your layoff is going to impact your ability to remain in the United States. Here’s what you need to know. 

The Grace Period 

If you have the following visas, you receive a 60-day grace period to remain in the United States:

  • E-1
  • E-2
  • E-3
  • H-1B
  • H-1B1
  • L-1
  • O-1
  • TN

It may be possible to use an adjustment of status to extend that grace period into a much longer one. You can use that to find another job that offers visa sponsorship, though the easiest way to save your ability to stay in the United States is to find another job. Let potential employers know you’ll need sponsorship. 

There may also be options for workers who wish to launch a start up during their 60-day grace period. 

Either way, it’s important to make the most of the time. Reach out to a qualified immigration lawyer to explore your options on Day 1 of that 60 day grace period. That will tell you exactly what steps you need to be taking to maximize your time in the United States. 

Pending Green Card Applications

If you have a pending I-140 petition you’re going to have to find a new sponsor. You can retain your old priority date, but you’ll have to start a new I-140. There are exceptions. 

If your I-485 Adjustment of Status application was filed based on an I-140 that’s older than 180 days then you may change jobs and move to a different employer if the new position is similar, without having to start the entire process over again.

Your immigration lawyer may need to do some work to prove the new position is sufficiently similar to the old position. 

Get Help Today

Immigration is never easy. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to our office to schedule a case review today.

We’ll do everything in our power to help you remain in the United States and navigate this difficult time.

See also:

How to Get a Work Visa in the United States

What to Do While Your Green Card Application is Pending

How Immigrants Can Launch a Company in the United States

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