H1B 60-day Grace Period, FAQs, Options if Cannot find Job.

If you are working on H1B Visa in the US, you may be aware that you get a 60 days grace period, if you lose your job to stay in the US and find another job. In this article we discuss on what the number 60 signifies for H1B and other non-immigrant visa holders. We also cover the options available for non-immigrant workers following the termination of their employment.

What is the 60-day grace period for H1B visa holders?

According to the Federal Registrar Rules and Regulations document published in 2016, the 60-day grace period is officially defined as below:

"To further enhance job portability, the final rule establishes a grace period of up to 60 consecutive days during each authorized validity period for individuals in the E–1, E–2, E–3, H–1B, H–1B1, L–1, O–1 or TN classifications. This grace period allows high-skilled workers in these classifications, including those whose employment ceases prior to the end of the petition validity period, to more readily pursue new employment should they are eligible for other employer-sponsored nonimmigrant classifications or employment in the same classification with a new employer. The grace period also allows U.S. employers to more easily facilitate changes in employment for existing or newly recruited nonimmigrant workers."

In short, it allows H1B visa holders to find a new H1B sponsor within 60 consecutive days or until the end of their current work authorization validity period, whichever is shorter. In 2022, USCIS also published a clarifying document on the same topic that helps terminated non-immigrant workers find a new employer with the same guidelines.

Common FAQs on H1B 60 Days Grace Period

Can I join the new employer on the receipt notice during the 60-day grace period?

Yes. If a correct H1B petition is filed with USCIS and the receipt of the notice is acknowledged, then the non-immigrant worker can join the company.

What is a Compelling Circumstances Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

If an H-1B visa holder already had an approved I-140 petition (immigrant petition filed for Green Card) with USCIS and their priority date is current and face compelling circumstances, then they may get a 1-year valid EAD.

If I have not received approval for an H1B petition after the 60-day grace period, is my stay unlawful?

No. As long as the petition was filed within the 60 days grace period and is pending with USCIS, your stay in the country is lawful and legal. But once USCIS makes a decision and that is denial, then you will accrue an illegal stay from that denial decision date.

I left the USA within the 60-day grace period. How do I come back to work in the USA?

If you have any remaining period left on your total 6 year duration of H1B , then you can look for an employer, staying from outside USA, and file a cap exempt H1B petition in consular processing and get H-1B stamping, if needed and can come back to the US.

Various Options for H1B Holders, if they cannot get a job in 60 days

There are quite a few options available for those who can not find a new employer within the 60-day grace period.

  1. Change of Status as Dependent(H4) : H1B visa holders can become dependents (H4) of the spouse, if their spouse is on H1B Visa. This may potentially also gain you H4 EAD in the future.
  2. Change of Status to Student(F-1) Visa: This is another option to continue to stay in the country and also pursue higher education to hone your skills. This also opens up doors in the future to work on OPT and in certain cases STEM OPT, if the degree falls under STEM category.
  3. Change of Status to Visitor (B-1/B-2) Visa: You can also apply for change of status to a visitor visa, if you cannot find a job within 60 days. This lets you continue your job search while being in the country. This option does not allow you to work in the country during that time. You will need to either leave the country and re-enter on H1B or apply for another Change of Status to H1B when you find the job.
  4. Compelling Circumstances Employment Authorization Document (EAD): This is a tricky option with a lot of ifs and buts. The compelling circumstances criterion is also subject to scrutiny by USCIS. You could potentially try this route as well.

H1B Sponsor Checker Extension to Help with your H1B Job Search

We at H1BGrader.com strive to help fellow non-immigrant workers by providing information about H1B Sponsors and building tools for H1B holders. We have built a H1B Sponsor Checker Chrome Extension that once installed will tell you, if the company that posted a job has sponsored H1Bs in the past or not and also let you see the full history. You can use this extension on Linkedin Jobs or Indeed Jobs. It looks like in below screenshot. You can check more details at H1B Sponsor Checker Extension Page

H1B Sponsor Checker Extension - H1BGrader
H1B Sponsor Checker Extension – H1BGrader

Official Resources:

Some useful official resources on this topic are:

  1. https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/options-for-nonimmigrant-workers-following-termination-of-employment
  2. https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/information-for-employers-and-employees/options-for-nonimmigrant-workers-following-termination-of-employment

2 Comments

    • Hi there,
      We sponsor no H1B jobs. However, at https://h1bgrader.com, we assist you in finding a sponsor. You may also utilize our job feature at https://h1bgrader.com/jobs to find suitable employment if you’re in the United States. Additionally, we assist users with our Chrome plugin, which helps employment portals display sponsorship information. Visit https://h1bgrader.com/extension to view the Chrome extension.

      All the best!

      Reply

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