Laid off on H1B Visa? What to do next?
As the world struggles to deal with economic issues, many people on H1B visas have been laid off in USA. Losing your job can be a traumatic experience and it can be especially hard if you are in a foreign country with limited support networks.
But there is hope – there are still ways to remain in the U. S. and to continue living and working. In this article, we will discuss the available options for those on an H1B visa who have recently been laid off.
H1B visa holders face a number of legal issues when laid off, as they are subject to U.S. immigration law. The most common legal issues that arise from layoffs include the following:
1. Loss of Legal Status:
When an H1B visa holder is laid off, their legal status in the United States is immediately terminated. This means that they will have to apply for a new visa before they can stay and work in the U.S.
2. Unexpected Departure:
When an H1B visa holder is laid off, they must leave the U.S. immediately. This means that they may not be able to complete any outstanding tasks or fulfill contractual obligations.
3. Unpaid Wages:
If an employer fails to pay an H1B visa holder their wages, the worker may have legal grounds to take legal action against their employer.
4. Refund of Fees:
If an employer requires the payment of any fees related to obtaining of the H1B visa, the worker may be entitled to a refund of these fees if the employer terminates their employment.
5. Unlawful Discrimination:
An employer cannot terminate an H1B visa holder due to their national origin or race. If an employer does this, the worker may have legal grounds to take legal action against their employer.
6. Immigration Fraud:
Employers cannot use the H1B visa program to obtain workers at lower wages than those provided to U.S. citizens. If an employer does this, the worker may have legal grounds to take legal action against their employer.
What to do if laid off on H1B visa?
If an H1B visa holder is laid off, the most important thing for them to do is to understand their rights and responsibilities.
The visa holder must understand that they are not subject to deportation if they are laid off, but that they should begin making plans to return home if they are unable to find another job within a reasonable amount of time.
The first step for an H1B visa holder who has been laid off is to contact their employer and confirm the terms of their separation.
If the employer confirms that the separation is permanent, then the visa holder should contact United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to let them know of the situation.
The visa holder will need to provide USCIS with information about the layoff and their current status.
Once the visa holder has contacted USCIS, they should begin the process of looking for new employment. It is important for the visa holder to remember that their visa is still valid and can be transferred to a new employer.
The visa holder should also be aware that their current visa may be revoked if they are unemployed for more than 60 days.
The visa holder should also look into other options such as changing their visa status or applying for a green card. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to change one’s visa status from H1B to another type of visa, such as an O-1 or TN visa.
Alternatively, an H1B visa holder may be eligible to apply for a green card based on their employment history in the United States.
Finally, the visa holder should take steps to ensure that their travel documents remain valid.
This includes renewing any expired passports and making sure that any visas have not expired.
By taking these steps, the visa holder can ensure that they will be able to travel freely while they search for new employment.