What happens if someone loses the job that secured them a work visa?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Employment Immigration

Some people acquire work visas by applying for new jobs in the United States. When a domestic employer hires them, the company may assist with visa acquisition. Other times, workers may have already established themselves at a company. They may then apply for a transfer to facilities within the United States or volunteer to help establish domestic operations as the company grows.

Regardless of whether someone has been with the company for years or recently accepted a job there, they could end up losing their job with little notice. That is as true for workers with employment visas as it is for domestic professionals. Unfortunately, foreign workers with visas have more to lose after a sudden termination than most people do. They may need to leave the United States in some cases. They may even need to relocate their entire family, depending on their circumstances.

Some workers can stay in the country

The loss of a job does not automatically mean the loss of immigration opportunities. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) typically only grants work visas to those with unique skills or valuable experience. Those professionals can be beneficial to the domestic economy regardless of what company employs them.

The USCIS, therefore, extends a grace period to those who lose their jobs while living in the United States with a work visa. Typically, workers with qualifying visas have up to 60 days from the day of their termination to find new employment elsewhere. Qualifying visa programs include E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1 and TN. If the worker secures a new job, they can file paperwork with the USCIS to adjust their visa and remain in the country.

Those in niche careers who may have a hard time locating new job opportunities may need to explore other means of obtaining visas and legal authorization to remain in the United States. Therefore, learning more about the rules that govern work visas can benefit those temporarily living in the United States for work. Job loss can affect work visas but will not automatically lead to someone’s removal from the country.



FindLaw Network