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As a Laid Off H-1B Employee, Do I Have an Automatic 10-Day Grace Period?

Hi William:

As a laid off H-1B employee, do I have an automatic 10-day or other grace period for terminated employees holding H-1B status?  Can I begin working for another job with a different employer?


An H-1B visa holder should work for the sponsoring H-1B petitioner. If the employment ends, the H-1B employment condition is no longer satisfied, and therefore the alien employee is no longer in a lawful nonimmigrant status in United States. The terminated H-1B visa holder can be able to port to another employer subject to certain conditions.

There is no automatic 10-day or other grace period for terminated employees holding H-1B status, so once the H-1B worker is no longer in a H-1B status, the alien many need to depart from the United States.

Depending on the alien's circumstances, the H-1B worker may be eligible to remain in the United States, because of a request for a change of status or for extension of stay that is filed while that alien is maintaining H-1B status, or with a pending status adjustment I-485 application.

For a H-1B worker who has fallen out of status, USCIS will exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis to grant the extension or change of status despite the failure to maintain status.

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