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H-1B Grace Period: 10 Days, 60 Days and 180 Days

Losing an H-1B employment opportunity before the agreed-upon period ends can be very stressful. Fortunately, there are protections in place so that you have a period of time to secure alternative employment should an unforeseen termination occur. The 60-day H-1B grace period can be used to find another employer, change visa status, or leave the country to avoid being “out of status.”

Because the H-1B is contingent on the visa holder’s job, losing that employment has, in the past, had severe repercussions for the person’s visa status. H-1B holders would have to either switch to a new employer or leave the country to avoid being considered out of status.

What is the H-1B Grace Period
If you, like many others, are under the impression that you have a ten-day H-1B grace period after your employment termination, it is likely because of a misunderstanding of the validity period regulation:

“A beneficiary shall be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. The beneficiary may not work except during the validity period of the petition.”

10-Day Grace Period
The USCIS does grant up to a 10-day grace after an H-1B visa ends (and the employer doesn’t file an extension) for the individual to get their affairs in order and prepare to leave the U.S.

60-Day Grace Period
However, this only applies to the natural end of the visa’s validation period. If your employment is terminated before the end of that period, then these 10 days do not apply. Fortunately, you will still be protected by the new 60-day grace period.

As dictated by the terms of the H-1B visa, you have to be working and earning wages from your employer in order to maintain lawful status. If you remain employed but your employer no longer pays your wages, you will have 60 days to regain lawful status before being considered “out of status”.

180-Day Grace Period
You may have heard rumors about the grace period being extended from 60 to 180 days but they are not accurate. The Presidential Advisory Panel has recommended this in the past but it is not implemented currently.

Read More: Immi-usa

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