Guirguis Law, P A

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Could a sudden job loss force an immigrant to leave the United States?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Immigration

Work visas are one of the more accessible options for immigrants. Those with certain job skills and strong educational backgrounds may qualify for job opportunities in the United States. Employers may sponsor international workers to help them secure work visas. They may even provide relocation benefits to help offset the cost of traveling to the United States for work.

An employment visa grants someone the right to live and work in the United States for a set number of years. Typically, those with work visas have the option of renewing them at least once if they can continue their job with their domestic employer. They may also be able to bring their spouses and unmarried minor children with them when they travel to the United States for work. Yet, job loss could put someone’s immigration status at risk. Even those who accept jobs at stable companies could lose their employment due to terminations or layoffs.

Will a job loss immediately lead to someone’s removal from the United States?

There is a grace period for immigrants

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) looks carefully at the professional qualifications and personal background of anyone seeking an employment visa. Those who secure work visas often have in-demand skills that could benefit the domestic economy. Their skills could be valuable to many other companies than the one currently sponsoring them.

If an immigrant loses their job while living in the country with a work visa, the USCIS typically gives them an opportunity to find new employment. Those with E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1, or TN visas may be able to look for a new job for up to 60 days after losing their employment. If they secure new work, their new employer can submit paperwork to update their immigration status and help them secure a new visa.

This system is beneficial for workers who might incur major expenses relocating with their families after an unanticipated job loss. The grace period is also beneficial for the domestic economy, as it can help keep skilled workers who meet other immigration standards in the country contributing to the economy.

Ultimately, responding quickly to an unexpected job loss could help an immigrant stay in the United States despite the surprising setback of losing their job.