Those visiting the USA and having a business or tourist visa (B-1 and B-2) can apply for new employment and even appear in interviews, but they must guarantee that their visa status has been altered before beginning a new work.
B-1 and B-2 visas are sometimes referred to as 'B visas,' and they are the most popular types of visas given in the USA for different sets of purposes. The B-1 visa is mostly provided for short-term business visits, whereas the B-2 visa is primarily issued for tourism purposes.
On March 22, 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (also known as USCIS) announced in a letter and a series of tweets, that when nonimmigrant workers are laid off, they may be unaware of their rights and may, in some instances, mistakenly believe they have no choice but to depart the country within 60 days.
The USCIS action comes as thousands of highly qualified foreign-born professionals, including Indians, have lost their employment in the United States as a result of recent layoffs at businesses such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.
They are now trying to locate new work within the 60-day time allowed under their work visas following the termination of their employment to remain in the country.
The maximum 60-day grace period begins the day after employment is terminated, which is usually decided by the final day on which a salary or pay is paid.
When a nonimmigrant worker's job is terminated, whether willingly or involuntarily, they often have the option of taking one of many measures, if eligible, to remain in the United States for an extended length of time.
Filing an application for a change of nonimmigrant status; applying for adjustment of status; applying for a ‘compelling circumstances’ employment authorization document; or receiving a nonfrivolous petition to change employers are examples of these.
According to the USCIS tweet, if one of these acts occurs within the up to 60-day grace period, the nonimmigrant's authorised stay in the USA may exceed 60 days, even if they lose their previous nonimmigrant status.
Furthermore, if the worker does not take action within the grace period, they and their family may be required to leave the country within 60 days, or when their authorised validity term expires, whichever is shorter.
Lastly, many people have inquired about their ability to hunt for new employment while on B-1 or B-2 status. Indeed, the answer is yes. Job searching and interviewing for a position are both B-1 or B-2 activities.
At the same time, the USCIS emphasised that before beginning any new work, a petition and request for a change of status from B-1 or B-2 to an employment-authorized level must be accepted, and the new status must take effect.
If the change of status request is refused or the petition for new employment is denied by consular or port of entry notice, the individual must leave the US and be admitted in an employment-authorized classification before commencing the new job.
With major layoffs in the US tech sector leaving a big number of Indian professionals unemployed, 2 Indian-American organisations started an online petition last month demanding US President Joe Biden to increase the grace period for H-1B visa holders from two months to a year.
This implies that if a foreign tech worker on an H-1B visa is dismissed, they will have one year instead of the current 60 days to locate another employment before leaving the country.
Every year, tech firms and businesses rely on it to hire tens of thousands of workers from nations such as India and China.
Source: Live Mint
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