H1B visa - L1 Grace Period USCIS 60 Days Details

H1B Grace Period 60 Days USCIS Rule – Job Loss, You Quit, H4 EAD, FAQs

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 157 Comments

Some of the unfortunate H1B holders go through situations, where their company does a layoff as part of cost cutting, merger or acquisition…in the past, there was no concept of grace period and H1B holders were out of status upon job termination or layoff…but, in Jan 2017, USCIS made effective a set of rules that helps certain employment based non-immigrants such as H1B holders. Let’s look at the official rule details and FAQs on the same.

What is Official H1B Grace Period USCIS Rule ?

H1B Visa Grace Period 60 Days USCIS Official Rule Reference

As per regulation that came into effect in Jan 2017, H1B Visa holders can get a grace period of up to 60 days to find another job or change visa status, if their employment on H1B visa is terminated due to layoff or other unforeseen reasons, before the end of their H1B petition validity.  The grace period is applicable for non-immigrant workers on H1B, H1BI, L1, O1 E3 and TN Status.  You can see the actual regulation text in the adjacent screenshot.   The reason for giving the grace period is for job portability for the employees to be able to find relevant work and continue their employment as their employment period ended before the completion of the given duration in their actual approval notice.

How does 60 Days Grace Period work with earlier I-94 Expiration Date ?

As we look at more details of the regulation at 8 CFR 214.1(l)(2), it clarifies the situation with I-94 expiration date or earlier end date on the H1B petition approval notice.  It says “H1B Holder gets 60 Days of grace period or until the end of authorized validity period of their status(basically I-94 end date), whichever is shorter”. So, if your I-94 or petition end date is before 60 days from your job loss or lay off, then your grace period is shortened until the expiration of your I-94 date. See below highlighted text in green and purple.

H1B Visa 60 Days Grace Period with I94 Expiration Rule

What does the H1B visa grace period of 60 days mean for employees with Job loss ?

The grace period of maximum 60 days for H1B, L1 and other visa holders means that they will be considered in “Valid Status” (read US Status vs Visa ) and not considered ‘out of status’  for the entire 60 days duration, when they apply for H1B Transfer.  In general, you need to be in ‘valid status’ in US to file any of the petitions for extension or change of status for USCIS to approve such petitions.  These 2 months or 60 days grace period gives the H1B or L1 holder to find another employer to file another H1B or do change of status to another visa as needed.

Is the 60 days grace automatic ? USCIS Discretion ?

As per regulation, the 60 days grace period for H1B or L1 holders is not automatic, but discretionary. DHS/ USCIS has full right to eliminate or shorten the grace period based on a case by case basis. See red highlighted text above in screenshot.

Why would USCIS to reduce 60 grace period ?

Some of the common reasons that USCIS uses to reduce or end grace period is for situations involving unauthorized employment, fraud or criminal charges tied to the H1B holder. As long as you do not engage in any of these kind of activities, you should get fully 60 days grace period.

How to request for 60 days grace period for H1B, L1, E3 visa holders ?

There is no special form required for requesting grace period. It is pretty much standard process, when you apply for transfer…additionally, you would need to submit proof of your layoff or resignation. Basically, you would submit a cover letter explaining your situation of Job loss , with supporting documentation, when you file for H1B Transfer or Change of Status application with USCIS. This way, they would consider your status as valid, even if you do not have pay stubs.

How many times can you use the 60 days grace period ?

H1B, L1, E3 and other visa holders can only use the 60 days grace period ONCE for H1B petition validity period. What it means is that, let’s say you are working for Employer A, you get one 60 days grace period for the H1B validity with Employer A. Now the catch is, if you quit or got laid off from Employer A and plan to re-join Employer A, lets say after 30 days during your grace period, then you do not get another 60 days grace period with Employer A as the same H1B petition will be used.  Unlike, if you transfer to Employer B, then as you have a new H1B petition with new validity period, you get another 60 days grace period. You may watch below short video as well.

Do I get grace period, if I quit or resign the job, instead of Layoff ?

The regulation does not differentiate between layoff, job loss, termination, resignation or quitting the job. So, technically 60 days grace period should be available to all H1B, L1 and other visa holders, who either submit resignation or quit, instead of layoff.  Having said that, USCIS has their discretion to decide or reduce the grace period, based on your case and circumstance as it cannot be taken for granted automatically.

Can we just resign and automatically get grace period ?

Though the regulation does not differentiate between job loss vs. resignation or quitting the job, it has to be noted that the 60 days grace period is USCIS/DHS Discretion and not automatic. The original intent of the rule was to help highly skilled non-immigrants in dire situations. If USCIS is not convinced and they may not issue you 60 days grace period or make it shorter, thereby making your stay “out of status”. So, it is NOT recommended to take the H1B grace period rule for granted and resign job and apply for transfer later…discuss with your attorney before you make any such decisions.

What if I exceed 60 days grace period with H1B Transfer ?

Well, technically you are considered to be in valid status until you hit the 60 days grace period mark or expiration of I-94. Once you go past 60 days, your status is no longer valid and you are ‘Out of Status’. Let’s say you apply for H1B transfer and get the USCIS receipt on day 60, you can still start to work from day 60 and it will be fine, but if you do not have the receipt on 60th day, you are entering a tricky zone and you should talk to your attorney and decide. Ideally, the safest thing to do is leave and re-enter US. It is always recommended to go for premium processing, if available, in situations like these.

Can H4 EAD dependents work in 60 days H1B Grace Period ?

In general, you need to be in valid status to continue working. During 60 days grace period, H1B holder is technically in status, hence H4 Visa holder is also in status. So, logically, H4 holder with valid EAD maybe able to work during the grace period. The tricky part is, USCIS regulation clearly tells that H1B holder cannot work during grace period, but does not give any guidance on H4 holder working on EAD. So, it is a grey area and you need to discuss with attorney.  Also, as USCIS mentioned, the 60 days grace period is discretionary and not automatic, you need to be very careful. If let’s say USCIS does not give you 60 days grace period or shortens it, then H1B holder would not have been in status, so H4 visa holder would also not have been in status…so, you would have done unauthorized employment on H4 EAD as there was no grace period for you as well…so, it can be tricky, so, the suggestion is to either stop working on the day your H1B spouse loses job, to avoid issues as it is subjective or discuss your case with your immigration attorney and act accordingly. Better safe than sorry !

Common FAQs for H1B Grace Period

When does the 60 days grace period start, when you lose job ?

It starts on the day the lay off is done or job is terminated…or you resign. It is not tied to your payment cycle like 1st or 15th of the month. As soon as you get notice that your job is terminated, your grace period starts from that day. You need to make sure all of these documentary evidence is submitted during H1B Transfer or Change of Status.

Can I carry forward the unused 60 days Grace Period, use in future  ?

No, you cannot carry forward unused grace period from 60 days  and use it another time. As mentioned above, you can use it only once per petition validity period and cannot use it again in chunks as needed.

Can you do part time work during 60 days Grace Period  ?

No, you cannot work part time or engage in any sort of unauthorized work during the 60 days grace period.

When Can I Start working during Grace Period with H1B Transfer ?

You can start working for the New Employer, as soon as you have received the USCIS Receipt Number. E.g. If you lose your job and you filed for H1B transfer with new employer and got receipt after 20 days during the grace period, you can start working right away after you have receipt number from USCIS. You do not have to wait for completion of 60 days grace period.

Do I get 60 days grace period , if my H1B or L1 are denied ?

No, you do not get any 60 days grace period, if your H1B or L1 petitions are denied by USCIS. The grace period is applicable only for cases, where the employment ends earlier than the H1B or L1 petition validity period.

Can I travel outside of US during 60 Days grace period and re-enter ?

You may travel outside of USA in grace period, but you cannot re-enter as you will need valid Visa to re-enter. Unless you have a valid visa for a different status, you cannot re-enter. The grace period can be used to settle up your affairs in US and move out  or to find another employer and get status extended using transfer.

How does H1B /L1  grace period impact my Visa Stamp ? Re-use the same ?

Your visa stamp has no impact with the H1B/L1  grace period or your employment termination You can use your H1B or L1 visa stamp to re-enter US by showing the new H1B /L1 Approved petition approval notice ( I797 approval notice) from USCIS. No need to go for stamping again.

What are your thoughts on the H1B, L1 Grace Period of 60 Days ? Your experiences

ReferencesUSCIS Non-Immigrant Visa Changes Regulation – 2017  , USCIS H1B 60 Day End Date Regulation 2017

   

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Comments ( 157 )

  1. Atul Tayade

    I am getting very mixed response to my question. Here is my situation. My I94 was expired on April19 and my employer filed case for H1 Extension in March. However Extension received RFE. While we prepared RFE response, I lost job last week due to Covid -19. Should i have 60 day grace period from employment termination date (05/07)? Am I in legal Status while looking for new job/employer ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Atul,
      Well, this is slightly grey area and no clear explanation in regulation. As your I-94 expired, it is the tricky issue…Talk to an attorney on this.
      One best way to be safe is to apply for B2 COS immediately, if you cannot travel out of country under COVID special circumstances and then exit the country. In the mean time, find a job, apply for it as consular processing, get it stamped outside and then come back in…

  2. Prakash Chaturvedi

    Hello Kumar – thank you so much for the valuable information

    I (H1b visa holder) have been laid off, my husband is on an H4 EAD but his H1B petition was picked this year (2021) and a change of status has already been applied to USCIS for his H4 to H1b.

    How does my layoff affect my spouse’s H4 to H1B COS application?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Prakash,
      Well, the COS to H1B for your spouse may have an impact, if you do not find work in 60 days and continue your H1B status. It will not impact the approval part of h1B, but it may impact the COS portion as it is tied to maintenance of status…If you apply for B2 COS on time and have that approved, before I-94, it may be different…I suggest you discuss with your attorney and plan it out. There are many grey areas…

  3. Kitty

    Hi ,

    My client project got over , but employer is still paying me .

    Can I start change of status from h1 to h4 ? If I get another project With same employer or full time with other employer in meantime before change of status is approved – how can I continue on h1 -? h4 change of status can be withdrawn?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kitty,
      Yes, you can do COS. Well, if you get something, then again you need to file H1B COS with new documentation. Yes, you need to plan it, timing can be tricky…Discuss with your attorney and plan it out.

    2. Urgent answer needed

      I am on h1b. Was on contract job. I got laid off by my client, but my employer kept me on buffer. Meanwhile i got offer letter from other client direct position. In background check which salary slip i should submit? Last Client salary slip or my buffer salary slip? And if my joining date is delayed suppose more than 60 days with new client? I am legal in US or should i apply my change of status to h4 visa.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Urgent answer needed,
        As long as you are employed by your H1B sponsor, maintaining status and have pay stubs, you are fine. I am not sure, what you mean by client pay stubs. Your pay stubs come from your employer, who sponsored you H1B.

  4. raj

    I got laid off on 31st march so my grace period has already started and will end on 31st May. I have a new employer now and have filed an LCA and they will be filing my transfer petition. the problem is my start date is going to be set around 7th june but my transfer petition receipt should come in before my grace period ends. my question is does my employment start date need to be before the grace period ends(31st may) or just get the transfer petition receipt before the grace period ends. any help is much appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      raj,
      Technically yes… As of now, you still have time, as you are very likely to submit the petition in about a week that will give you about a week or so for the USCIS, so it should be ok..Discuss with your attorney plan it out.

  5. Swarna

    Hi kumar…can you suggest me in this scenario…

    My H1 visa expired on June 30 2019
    I94 expires on September 30 2019
    My i140 was approved in November 2019
    Filed extension and it got denied on May 11 2020

    Now can I file H4 COS as my husband have valid H1 till October 2020

    My kids were also filed with me as H4

    Or can we file for B2 to stay here
    Can kids attend school here when they get converted to B2
    What options are there for us without leaving US as we are worried about travel due to covid

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Swarna,
      Usually, you would not be able to do it after denial. But, now with COVID, USCIS suggested to file it under extreme situations, if you cannot leave the country.
      Ideally, you should file B2 and then leave as soon as you can leave the country. Well, I am not sure, if there are any such restrictions, check with the school.
      Talk to your H1B attorney and get confirmation before you proceed with anything.

  6. manoj

    f1 to h1b approved oct ’19 for 3 years.
    i have come to India for my 1st H1b stamping and have received a 221g administrative processing from the US consulate and now laid off.

    Following are my questions:

    Within, how many days do I have to find employment & have my H1b transferred? My current employer has mentioned they would be withdrawing my H1b. I currently have an Approved i797a. I am aware, I will have 60 days grace period, is it applicable to me as well, as I not currently located outside of United States?

    If I find employment after 60 days and employer is willing to transfer my H1 while residing outside of the USA, Can I reactivate my current H1? Or will I need to file a new H1 during April of next year?

    Assuming my current visa is stamped for the old employer after lockdown opens, will I be able to travel to the US with the new I797?

    If my Visa is not approved and I don’t receive my stamping from the US consulate, Do I need to enter Lottery again?

        1. Manoj

          Thank you for response Kumar,

          Yes, I worked for them on h1 from Oct 1st until feb6th. I traveled to India on 6th Feb and was laid off last week. I was on loss of pay from march 1st until my laid off day.

        2. administrator
          Kumar

          Manoj,
          You are technically cap exempt, the reason is that you worked on H1B for sometime. The concept of grace period does not apply to you as you are outside of the country. You are free to find a new employer and ask them to apply as cap exempt. They withdrawing your petition will not have any issues with transfer.

  7. Sanjay

    I got laid off on Apr 16th and coud’t find a job yet. I am in my grace period now. Can i apply for asylum after my grace period.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sanjay,
      Check with an attorney on this. You can do many things before your grace period expires, but after the expiration, you will have less options.

  8. Vinu

    Hi,

    Quick question. I am working for an employer A and was working for a client B. Due to Covid there was ramp down and i got released by the client project. My employer is looking for other projects and i am still under the pay rolls of the company . Currently doing some organization activities. Does the 60 day job loss constraint apply here ? I am not laid off by the employer but client project has ended. Does the client project be considered as job opportunity since in LCA client location is mentioned

    Visa -H1 B i797 approved until 2022 but not stamped
    I 140 approved

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Vinu,
      As long as they continue to pay and you maintain status with proper LCA, you are fine. But, key thing is that you need to file an amendment with new LCA soon as the client project ended. Only your attorney can tell all the things to be take care to be in status. Talk to them and apply accordingly.

  9. Chaitanya

    Hi , I have question regarding H1B layoff. If a persion is laid off from employer A and he got 60 days grace period. If he finds employment and company B files for transfer on 55 th day. But then they ask him to join the company from 70th day. Is this ok? Should be paycheck be running from 61st day?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Chaitanya,
      Technically, the grace period is for considered being in status for the USCIS adjudication. It is very much a grey area and very subjective. Ideally, you should try to join the company as soon as you have the receipt notice.

      1. Bhanuchandar Challa

        I got laid of on 12th March, 2020 and found a new job and got the offer letter on 23rd March, 2020 from the new employer. The background check process for the client is still actually taking too much time due to COVID condition and is still pending as of today. But it’s already been a month and it is getting delayed, my new employer went a head and filed the h1b transfer on 20th April, 2020. Is it OK if my background check completes after my grace period ending date i.e 11th May, 2020 and I start working with the client after a week after its completion? Potentially the pay check is going to start at the end of May. Please advice.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Bhanuchandar,
          Technically, if you have received the receipt notice, you are fine to start working. Now, having a break in employment is the tricky part. After 60 days you need to be maintaining H1B status…if you are not working and staying idle, then it is violation of status as you are not maintaing H1B status. Discuss with employer and then take a call to join soon..

  10. Shetty

    I’m on got laid off last week by my employer, with an end date of 5/1/2020 . But after few discussions they offered me to go on ” paid expanded family and medical leave” for 10 more weeks under the reason #5 in below article for taking care of my child where they will pay me at two-thirds of the regular rate of pay – https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

    My questions is , is this a legal option for H1B employees. Could you please provide your inputs. Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Shetty,
      In general, H1Bs are not exempt to be paid half or less, that is not legal. You need revised LCA …Now, I am not sure, if that applies for H1B holders as it does not explicitly say that…Check with an attorney before you accept anything and plan.

  11. Ram

    Hello,

    I was currently part of a team that was laid off in March. Since I’m no longer working with the company, my H1-B visa is no longer valid. However, many immigration websites and articles indicate that I’ve 60 day grace period to find another employer to file a transfer petition. Due to COVID-19 situation, job transfers seem very unlikely to manifest within 60 days. Further, I’ve read that overstaying in the U.S. for more than 180 days will call for a 3-year penalty to not enter United States. So, I would like to return to India much before the 180 day limit.

    My questions are:

    1. Is there any legal repercussions if I overstayed for a bit and returned home within 180 days? Currently, there is a travel ban and it is advised to stay back.

    2. I’ve an approved i-140 petition from previous employer. If I manage to get a new job within next 180 days, am I entitled to work for the new employer? I’m assuming this will be a fresh H1-B petition as the transfer did not happen within 60 days of my employment termination. Further, I’m willing to travel to my home country to get the VISA stamp and re-enter United States as needed.

    Please provide your valuable advise in this regard. Thank you very much.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ram,
      1. Usually, if you return within 180 days, it should be fine. But, it is not automatic, you need to everything to be in proper status. In your case, you can file for B2 COS and then continue to be in US, while the travel ban is lifted. Read USCIS COVID-19 guidance from yesterday.
      2. Yes, you can. But, doing COS without traveling out is tricky. You may or may not be, it all depends on if you get COS approved with new H1B filing. With COVID-19, it maybe possible but hard to say…Usually USCIS looks at status maintenance…

      The above article has references to 60 days grace period official rule. See, if you can get something within 60 days…Worst case, apply for B2 before your 60 days and then leave the country, then enter with new H1B employer.

  12. Abhijeet

    Hi,

    The Start-up (Company A) that I was working for went under on 6th March, 2020 which was my last day. My 60 days would end on 5th May, 2020. Company A H1-B is approved till August 2022 but I haven’t got the H1-B visa stamp.
    1. Assuming I leave the country after the 60th day, Can I apply for H1-B Transfer after the 60 day period? If yes, what is the maximum period upto which I can file for H1-B transfer.
    2. As I do not have a valid H1-B stamp, Will I have to wait until my new H1-B transfer is approved, then get it stamped and only then enter US?
    3. Is there any restriction on the start date, if I leave the country. Is the new employer required to start paying me immediately after the receipt is received? or can there be a gap, as I wont be able to enter until my H1B Transfer is approved?

  13. Nikita

    Hi!
    A friend of mine got laid off last week. Since the employers won’t really be receptive of the new employees during the pandemic season, what are the options to get it converted to an F1 visa considering that this is not the time that the applications are being accepted?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Nikita,
      At the moment, the option is to apply for B2 as COS. So far, there are no updates from USCIS on how they will address this.

  14. Vishal

    Hi,

    I got laid off last week 04/03/2020 by employer A. I requested them to have an extended separation date and they made it to 04/27/2020. But, I am on unpaid leave starting 04/04/2020 until 04/27/2020. I will be receiving a severance check on or after my separation date.

    My question: When does my 60 days grace period start?

    Thank you for your help in advance!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Vishal,
      It starts on the day, when your official end date starts from the company. You cannot be on Unpaid leave on H1B, that is not allowed as you are legally supposed to be paid on H1B…Getting check may or may not matter, but your employment with the company is what matters…Talk to your company’s attorney and clarify, before you assume it…

      1. Sunny

        Hi, I got laid off on March 21 and technically my 60 day grace period will end on May 21st. I have my new employer, who filed LCA on May 18th and filing h1b Transfer on May 22nd.

        What are pros and cons. Will USCIS consider pandemic scenario and be liberal or what are the chances of approval?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Sunny,
          It is very much subjective, maybe they may due to COVID-19. Talk to your attorney and plan. Do update on how it goes for community benefit.

  15. Madhura

    My husband got laid off on March 24th. He has until May 24th to find another job. My question is, if his 60 day grace period runs out, he travels back to India and then if the same employer decides to offer him a job back then how his visa situation works out with USCIS?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Madhura,
      Well, if he has the valid H1B stamp in the passport, he can take the new offer letter and again re-enter the country using the documentation.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Madhura,
          If they offer him job again, sure, he can go for stamping using that…He is not going to be in US, so the 60 days does not matter then..

  16. Sanya

    Hello,
    My husband (Who’s on H1B) got laid off recently and will leave US in a couple of days, for good. However, I (employed with h4 EAD) plan to continue working here for 60 more days (60 days from day day he quit, until May 2020). Is this legal? We have not submitted any document to USCIS with respect to him quitting/getting laid off. My EAD is valid till September 2020.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sanya,
      No, it is not legal as your spouse would be already out of the country and you do not have any status. I suggest you contact an attorney and clarify, before you engage in any such activity.

      1. Kumar 2

        Why is this not legal?
        It is as one will get 60 days to find another job when laid off.
        But think that he has travelled to India for an emergency thinking to come back in a week or 2 or 3. But it gets extended till 2 months & beyond that where he cannot or don’t want to return due to personal reasons.
        And those 60 days, u can make use of & complete the committee projects and leave the country at the end of 2 months.
        This is a perspective and even u will find multiple answers for this situation depending on how the question is asked.

        As ur visa is valid till Sep 2020, Don’t think too much & u shud be able to work till that time and later anyways as u guys r going back for good…it doesn’t matter if u leave now or later.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Kumar 2,
          The context here is H1B spouse is leaving the country. The 60 days is only for someone when they are in US to find Job.
          General travel is different from traveling after you lose job…This situation is after the person has lost job.

          I would suggest you talk to an attorney, before you engage in anything. Do not try to cut corners, when you are not sure…It is your discretion !

      2. Sanya

        Thank you. We’d like to talk to an attorney to get this clarified, do you have any recommendation who/how/where to contact? We are not comfortable talking to our respective company’s legal teams.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Sanya,
          We have no specific recommendations, you cannot go wrong with reputed attorneys like Murthy, Fragomen, Reddy Neuman, etc. Search on internet and call them up.

      3. Satish

        Hi, My H1-B Visa expired on 5/31/2020. Recently I changed my project for the same employer and an amendment/extension has been filed. So now the new project is coming to closure in about 30 days from now with all this COVID19 lay offs happening I am sure that I will not be able to find a new project with my current employer and my current employer cannot retain me beyond 6/15.

        So my questions are:

        1) Can I change my employer now with only 45 days of Visa validity .

        2) Will I be able to use the 60 days grace period post 5/31 while my petition is due for extension

        Kindly Advise.

        Thanks,
        Satish

          1. Satish

            Thanks a lot for you advise Kumar.

            Regarding the #2: Post 5/31 I will be out of status, will be in 240 days grace period with my current company. Now if my company cannot find me a new project I may lose my job. Since I will be out of status after losing the job, can i move to a new job and will I get the 60 days grace period to find a new job. Please advise. Thanks!

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            Satish,
            You do not get grace period of 240 days. Once your project ends, your employer need to pay you on bench and get you a project. If they do not pay you, then technically you are not employed and considered violating status. If you know for sure, you will not have work and you may lose job, one of things you can do is find a job now, apply for H1B with new employe before I-94 expires and start to work for them.

    2. Sreejith

      Hey Sanya,

      That’s not legal Reason : Your H4 is automatically invalid. If your husband’s petition gets rejected, your H4 status is invalid, which further invalidates EAD status.
      Now suppose you work for a duration after the primary’s H1B petition gets rejected. You employer will file taxes on your pay check for that period to the state and federal. Well and good. …….

      Now say you apply for H4 EAD next time after your husband’s petition gets approved again. There are chances that they can issue RFE for your husband \ for your H4 EAD petition that time. And if that RFE is tax documents, then its as good as closing your doors to US. This happened to one of my colleague’s brother. USCIS can easily see your unlawful presence here. Their attorney withdrew the H4 EAD petition finally as there was no way they can file file MTR for it.

  17. Nvidia

    Hi,

    I am currently in India for H1B stamping. My passport now holds a valid h1b visa that expires in 2022. I got to know a few days ago that I am laid off by my employer. Can I travel to the US on this visa? Please help!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Nvidia,
      No, you cannot. You cannot travel without a job, you will be having issues at Port of entry, if they do secondary screening or check with your employer…

          1. NVIDIA

            Thanks Kumar. What if I am able to find an employer and I get back to the country in June (for instance). Since I was let go by my company in February, would it be a problem at the port of entry in terms of gap in employment ? Considering traveling in and out of the country and lockdowns- would it be a problem at the US port of entry?? Thanks

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            NVIDIA,
            No, they do not care, if you have a job for you in America when you enter…
            it can be tricky with COVID-19, so risk is involved everywhere…use your discretion.

          3. Pradeep

            Hi Kumar,

            I am actually in similar situation. I got laid off last week while I was on vacation in India. I have valid H1B stamp and I have collected my passport as well. So, my question is, will 60 days grace period counts while you are in India? And I have good relation with my old employer even though I was laid off. They said they will help me at port of entry and will let them know that I was on unpaid leave.

          4. administrator
            Kumar

            Pradeep,
            the 60 days grace period does not apply to you as you are not in country. The reason is, USCIS uses that 60 days grace period to continue the H1B holder status without any issues. As you are not in US, it does not apply. You need a job, when you enter US, that is valid… It is not about help or any adjustments…Anything that you do that is not bonafide can put you at risk, I would not recommend without having proper job…

        1. Tanya

          Current Status:
          H1B Validity: 10/1/2019 to 8/15/2022
          I-94 Validity: 4/13/2022
          I-140: Approved with 9/2017 priority date
          Job Termination Date: 2/21/2020 (due to coronavirus)
          60 days grace period ends: 4/21/2020

          Am I allowed to stay in the US post the 60 days (due to valid I-94) or do I have to do an H4 change of status (my husband has an H1B visa, but not I140)? I wanted to better understand any implications of staying out of status for over 60 days. Has USCIS provided any laxes to the grace period?

          Also because there is no way to get back to India at this point. Can I not just wait for a few months more and do a consulate H1 transfer then? (do I need a whole new H1B including the lottery process if I get a job offer post the grace period)

          As I cannot have 2 pending visa applications at the same time, applying for H4 will limit me to not work in the US for 8-10 months at the least. I am trying to find a solution wherein I can start working relatively quicker when I secure a job offer.

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            Tanya,
            You are allowed to stay only, if you do COS to H4 or other status.
            No relaxation on any grace period…You need to either apply for B2 or H4 soon.
            No, Your H1B status is not there anymore as you lost job, so it does not matter.
            Just having I-94 valid is not enough, You need to maintain status, when you are in US, so you need to either apply for COS to H4 or B2. Do it soon, discuss with attorney as you already exceeded the 60 days.

    2. Nancy

      Hello!
      I am on H1B visa valid till 2023. I switched job and was supposed to start the new employment from April 2020 but the joining date got postponed indefinitely now. If I do not get a job within the 60 day grace period I plan to change to H4. If I get a job after I change to H4 is it possible to make use of my H1 petition to work again? Or do I have to apply for a brand new H1 and get started all over? Please help.

  18. Jash Shah

    Hi Kumar.
    I am currently on F1 visa. My H1b was filed under Consular Processing in 2019 and was selected in lottery and also approved. However, it hasn’t been activa ast week, I was laid off. While currently on F1, will a new employer be able to file for my H1b transfer if I am within the 60 day grace period?

    Thank you,
    Jash

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jash,
      It is slightly grey area. It maybe possible, do speak to an attorney. If you have an employer willing to file H1B, you should definitely give it a shot and apply for it.

      1. Jash Nilesh Shah

        Thank you Kumar. Just a follow-up Can I apply for a transfer and also register for the lottery during the same year? This will give me a additional chance in the lottery if the transfer doesn’t go well.

        Thank you.

    2. Helen

      Hi Kumar,

      I was let go from my job on Jan 23st, and I’m on day 45 (15 days left) in my grace period. I’m expecting to get a job offer in the next 2 days, but given the time it takes for background checks, drug tests, etc. to go through, I don’t expect the employer will start the visa transfer process until a week later.

      What should I do now? I know USCIS takes about 10 days to issue a receipt. Do I need to receive the receipt by day 60, or do I need to start working by Day 60, or does the employer need to submit the transfer petition by day 60 in order for this to be in the clear?

      P.S. I also received 3 weeks of severance pay. I read on another blog that it might help increase the 60 day grace period. Does that make a difference? My official last day with my former employer was Jan 24, and I don’t know how USCIS could know whether I had severance pay.

      Thank you so much.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Helen,
        The rule is to have a receipt by the time your 60 day expires. The official last date is what matters, as they use the day for counting it…The payment is not the key date…Discuss with your new company attorney and then take a call on what to do. Worst case scenario, you may need to leave and come back…

        1. Helen

          Hi Kumar,

          Thank you so much for your reply! My new company filed for my H1B transfer on my last day of grace period. Due to the suspension of premium processing, I still haven’t received the receipt and it’s almost day 70. Given the pandemic, travelling isn’t really an option right now, as there’s a possibility I won’t be able to return to the US from abroad. What could happen now? Is the best thing to do wait until I get the receipt? Thank you so much.

          Helen

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            Helen,
            These are really unprecedented situations for many, so USCIS would consider that in future. Please keep documentation that says why could not travel out like flights cancelled or your country not letting you in, etc. Discuss with your attorney and then plan it out.

          2. Helen Zhou

            Thank you so much Kumar for the advice, that’s super helpful. I don’t have access to the attorneys filing my current H1B transfer. Would this be more of a concern for the current H1B transfer petition, or for future applications/petitions for H1B extensions/Green Cards?

            Thank you again! Really appreciate your help in these times.

          3. administrator
            Kumar

            Helen,
            Well, it is hard to say…Keep all documentation is place, so that, if such situation comes, you can give proper explanation…It is called Nunc Pro Tunc kind of filing, if needed.

          4. Helen

            Hi Kumar,

            So my employer filed the H1B transfer on the 23rd (the package arrived on the 23rd), my last day of grace period, and I still haven’t gotten the receipt (it’s been almost 3 weeks now). Is it normal for them to take so long to issue a receipt? Could there be something wrong? I’m afraid that I’m accruing illegal presence since the last day of my 60-day grace period was on March 23rd, and if we accrue more than 90 days of out of status presence, we’re barred from the US when we try to enter next time. Do you have any advice on what I can do here (given I can’t travel easily right now)?

            Thank you so much for your help.

            Helen

          5. administrator
            Kumar

            Helen,
            It is not normal for them. Now with COVID-19, things are not on time…
            Talk to your attorney on this and see what can be done.
            Yes, you are accruing it, but it is 180 days for that bar on entry. These are extreme situations for many, hope they consider that and give some exceptions.

  19. Anna

    In the same situation
    ——————-
    Hi. When my next employer applied for H1B transfer for me, they put the starting date as “1/15/2020” (because they were unsure when it would get approved, they put a quite early day). It turns out, my last day with my current employer is 2/7/2020. If I take 2/8/2020 – 2/16/2020 off (being out of employment), and start my next job on 2/17/2020, will the 2/8 – 2/16 be counted as “grace period” utilized during the new validity period, which means, I can’t have even one day out of employment during the new validity period going forward?
    ——————–
    If in this situation, 2/8 – 2/16 be counted as “grace period” utilized, how about if I leave my current job on Friday, 2/7/2020, and start the next on Monday 2/10/2020? Will not being employed over the weekend be counted as “grace period” utilized?

    If so, would you please offer any advice how to handle this situation in order not to impose any potential risk in the future?

    Greatly appreciate it.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Anna,
      Technically you cannot have break on H1B…unless, you lost your job…Again, this is very much a grey area, I would suggest you talk to your attorney and take the decision. The other option is you join the company and take the vacation…asking them for the break…It solves the issue with status break, if any.

      1. Anna

        Thank you, Kumar. Say my last day with my current employer is Friday, Feb 7th, do I need to start with my next employer on the SAME day to eliminate any chance being in grey area? Thank you.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Anna,
          Yes, ideally, next day as you are working for one company only on a day..If it is just a weekend or holiday, should be ok…

    2. Helen

      Hi Kumar,

      It’s Helen again. It turned out that my application was returned because it was missing some documents. My employer has resent the application over with the missing documents included. Since they’re resending the application one month after the last day of my grace period ended, and the receipt probably won’t come in for yet another 2 weeks, is this going to be counted as me being out of status for 1.5 months, until the receipt is issued? Also, I don’t have access to the attorneys, so I’m not sure what I can do here. You mentioned a Nunc Pro Tunc filing and I looked it up, but is that something I do preemptively or something I address if USCIS finds problems with my current H1B filing?

      Thank you so much as always.

      Best,
      Helen

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Helen,
        Usually your attorney would do the Nunc pro Tunc, stating it was an honest mistake beyond your control and excuse the late filing…It is up to USCIS discretion.
        Well, all you can do is try to talk to your employer and get this sorted out. End of the day, it is your duty to ensure you are in proper status.

        1. Helen

          Hi Kumar,

          So my H1B Transfer got a RFE. Since I’m a Singapore citizen, I was wondering if it’s possible to apply to H1B1 as well, alongside the H1B, in case it gets rejected? Will applying for a H1B1 impact the H1B transfer? I went for the H1B instead of H1B1 initially, since H1B is dual intent and H1B1 doesn’t let you apply for the GC down the road.

          Also, if I apply to the H1B1, do I have to go to a US Embassy in Singapore to get stamped, still? Given the current pandemic, I’m not sure if going to a US Embassy outside of the country is a viable option.

          What do you recommend here?

          Thank you very much for providing information and advice on this blog!

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            Helen,
            I am not an expert on H1B1, but as far as I know, you only need the LCA filed as H1B1 and you need to enter US with valid stamp as Singapore Citizens fall under VWP. As there is no interaction with USCIS for H1B1, not sure how you can file for Change of status and get I-94…I suggest you discuss with an attorney on this and clarify.
            Also, do update here what you find out for community benefit.

  20. UB

    I was laid off Nov 1st 2019. Did a transfer to a consulting company but the project did not go through and on bench with an RFE. But now Jan 17th have a offer for a permanent job and I have to submit last 2 paystubs for the visa transfer. Since I don’t have paystub from the consulting company, will it be an issue for the new transfer a full time position.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      UB,
      Well, it could be…the reason is, you were not maintaining status right ? If you file for transfer with continuing of status, it may create issues. The issue is you have exceeded over 60 days of grace period…so, it can come up. It is better to file as Consular processing and get stamping done….again,I suggest you talk to your attorney and then take an informed decision and double check on this.

    2. shr

      If you had already started your employment with consulting company even with transfer receipt then they should issue you paystub. Ask the consultancy to provide pay and paystub after your 60 days grace period and that is just for 17 days. I was in similar situation last year, was laid off on Jan 24th 2019 and found a consulting job from employer A on march 25th ( on my 59th day of grace period). I was not on bench and they were paying me. I got full time in July 15 and by them my petetion with Employer A had received RFE and they hadnt still responded. The new employer B filed through regular processing based on my I 94. I got my approval with employer B last week without RFE. My suggestion is check with your new employer attorney. Our attorney suggested in my case to apply in regular processing and if USCIS has issue with your status they will approve with consular processing. If not they will approve it regularly.
      If you had an offer letter with start date with consultancy then they need to pay you as there is no concept of bench on H1B. Dont hesitate to ask them your pay as most consultancies are misusing the system too. Without paystub it would be a gamble as you would be deemed out of status for 17 days.

  21. Mounika Challa

    Hi,
    I was laid off on Oct 31st and was on H1B grace period. I got receipt on December 20th, I started working on December 30th, which is exactly on 61st day after grace period. Is it legal if we start working on 61st day on grace period.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mounika,
      Well, I am not sure, if they are really that particular here as they have sent you the receipt notice…As it was a difficult situation for you, USCIS may give you grace period. I would suggest you check with your attorney and get it corrected, if needed. If possible, check with HR and move it by one or two days, if you are worried…

  22. Monalisa

    Hi,

    I was terminated from my previous company on October 31st 2019, I filed for a H1B transfer from new employer on December 18th 2019 and I got my receipt in hand on January 4th 2019, but the H1B receipt holds the notice date as December 20th 2019, which is within sixty days grace period. In this case,can my employer run the pay-roll from December 30th 2019 before receiving the receipt in hand as we got to know they accepted our application on december 20th 2019 itself, because cheques were cashed on that day. Please advise.

    Thank you

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Monalisa,
      Well, the notice date is what matters for all aspects. So, technically yes..But, I would suggest you check with your attorney to be sure.

  23. Vee

    I got laid off from employer A. Before layoff, I applied for H4 EAD renewal which is underway. In the 60day grace period, I got offer from employer B who are in the process of filing for H1visa. What happens to the H4 EAD renewal petition already filed when H1 was with employer A? Do I need to withdraw that? Do I need to file another one H4 EAD renewal petition along with H4 visa with employee B? Please advise. Thanks in advance.

  24. Sreejith

    Hi,

    I have my current i-94 (issued at port of entry) valid till April 2021 which I was able to secure through employer A. I switched to employer B and the new petition thru B is valid only till AUG 2019 . Employer A withdrew my petition. B applied for extension again now and I am waiting for the result.
    If this extension is denied, does it mean that I have to leave the country immediately ?
    In cases like these , which i-94 matters (the one issued at port of entry or the latest i-94 on the new petition number ?). Going by your topic , if I understand correctly if the extension is denied , I would be out of status correct ? But the i-94 website still shows 2021

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes. Well, that I-94 that you got at port of entry would have been reduced to Employer B’s I-94 when they applied for transfer…What did the I-94 say for employer B ?
      Yes…The one on the site of CBP is only for entry into country, it does not have any significance after that, if you change employers….I would suggest you speak to attorney as well on this and confirm.

  25. Seshu

    Hi Kumar, I have a question related to Employer A’s location amendment to client 1 and employer B’s H1b transfer ( to same client 1).

    1. Can employer A’s location amendment can be withdrawn while my transfer to employer B is in progress? Is this a good move to withdraw employer A’s amendment while I transfer to Employer B ?

    2. What will happen if transfer to employer B gets denied ? Given my i-94 is valid till 2021 with employer A.

    3. If no.2 happens, does that mean I was out of status working in amendment time at client 1 ?

    4. I already started to work for client 1 with new employer B based on transfer receipt number. Is this a problem to work at client location based on receipt number when transfer is in progress ?

    Please help

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Seshu,
      You are now with Employer B already, so what happens with A does not matter. All that matters is, when you started to work for B using receipt, were you in status and your I-94 was valid, if so, it should be fine…if not, then you are in bridge situation. Discuss with your attorney at B and get clarified on your situation…

    2. Nancy

      Hello!
      I am on H1B visa valid till 2023. I switched job and was supposed to start the new employment from April 2020 but the joining date got postponed indefinitely now. If I do not get a job within the 60 day grace period I plan to change to H4. If I get a job after I change to H4 is it possible to make use of my H1 petition to work again? Or do I have to apply for a brand new H1 and get started all over? Please help.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Nancy,
        Typically, if you get a new h1B job, you would apply for New h1B as cap exempt with that company. It is technically starting over as cap exempt as it will be new job.

  26. KVR

    I’m working on receipt with Employer B from past 2 years.My H1B transfer got denied twice with Employer B and Employer B filed another petition.

    My I-94 with Employer A is still valid until Oct 23 2019 and they didn’t withdraw the petition.

    I’m planning to go back to Employer A. Employer A needs 2 to 3 months recent paystubs to reinstate and apply H1b amendment/Extension.can they use Employer B H1B recent pay stubs ?

  27. Dora

    Hello,
    I lost my job due to layoff – my last day on F1 OPT Extension is Sept 20th and my approved H1B tied to the same company kicks in on Oct 1st. The company will legally exist with only one employee.
    1. Would I still have the 60 days grace period after Sept 20 – although I lost my job before I even started on H1B?
    2. When terminating my employment, the company will also have to withdraw my LCA – before I even started my H1B. Is this a problem?
    3. I think this also means I cannot start working when receiving the receipt notice, only when my requested changes were approved. I guess I can premium process that so I should be fine if I can send in the new application ~3 weeks before the 60 days would expire.
    Any suggestions, comments are welcome

  28. Aditya

    My last day with Company A is 13th SEP and new employer B filed my H1B transfer on 23 Aug (before 20 days of last day with A). Now based on my understanding I can join employer B any day. My I-94 is valid for another till Oct 2021.
    The H1B transfer with Employer B has received RFE. If this RFE results in denial after 13th SEP am I eligible for 60 days grace period?
    If I start working at Employer B based on the receipt of the application at USCIS and if the RFE results in denial am I eligible for 60 days grace period or can I continue the grace period form Employer A?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes you can join them. Well, that grace period would be based on first one. Denial does not give you grace period…only layoff.

      1. Aditya

        Dear Kumar,
        Can I continue the remaining 60 days grace period from Employer A?
        Employed to transferring employer VS not Employed to transferring employer
        Scenario -1 : If I am in H-1B status and employed with an employer A, and if the new employer B files a Petition to transfer the H-1B, and if i do not transfer my employment to a new employer B based on the receipt notice and if the Petition is denied, and I am in H-1B status and not employed by Employer A and during 60 days grace period.

        Scenario -2 : If I am in H-1B status and employed with an employer A, and if the new employer B files a Petition to transfer the H-1B, and if i do not transfer my employment to a new employer B based on the receipt notice and if the Petition is denied, and I am in H-1B status and not employed by Employer A and during 60 days grace period.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          It is super confusing. There is nothing like transferring employment. You either work for them or not. You need to work for someone all the time to be in proper status, if you lose job, then you are in grace period…That’s the bottom line. Read the above article again.

  29. Chand SK

    Hi Kumar,

    I got my H1b approved last year (2018 to 2021) and I stayed with my employer from Oct 1, 2018 to till date at Client A. Anyhow, employer is running out of business and laying me off. If he lays me off, will I get 60 day grace period ? Is it recommended to transfer my H1b to different employer ASAP on premium processing ? and work for same client A ? or look for different client with the new employer whoever is filing my transfer ?

    Also, if new employer transfer is denied or something, can i go for PhD program and keep it on hold until the transfer decision comes out ?

    Pleasee help __/\__

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, you would very likely get it. Yes, that’s the better option to transfer. It is your choice, you can work for same client or find others as well, it doe snot matter. Well, I am not sure how you would get a PhD admission in 60 days…Even if you get, I am not sure, if that is the right thing to do for you in the long run…try to find another employer and ask couple of them to apply for transfer in premium, at least one will get approved.

  30. Ashu

    Hi,

    I resigned from Company A on 26 Jun and got new employer B file my H1B (petition # in hand) on 16 Aug (within 20 days grace period). Now based on my understanding I can join employer B any day. My I-94 is valid for another 1 year.
    But my question is since I am joining on petition # what happens If my H1B transfer gets rejected any time either during in my grace period (i.e by 26 Sep) or after that (assuming RFE comes and whole process gets dragged for few more weeks. What will be my options here.
    Will I go out of Status or will I have some more time.
    In the case of denial if I want to move to H4 . Will I get enough time to move to H4? Thanks in Advance!!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      After 60 days, your grace period technically ends, even though your I-94 is valid. You need to maintains status, just having I-94 validity does not matter. Read Period of Authorised Stay
      If you get denial, you will not have any time left, you need to leave immediately. Technically, you are out of status the day you get denial, you cannot do the COS. Discuss with an attorney and then take decision.

  31. Somu

    Hello there,
    Can one someone shed some light on following:
    current employment was laid off Jun 30th. New employer A filing in normal and wants to join on receipt. 60 days grace period is ending by ~Aug 30. Another employer B gives a offer and files after 60 day, 2nd petition have to be dependent on the 1st one approval or will it be independent ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      If you file after grace period, then you may be in bridge situation and you would be dependent on the petition filed by A. I-94 validity also matters…It is advisable to check with attorney and plan accordingly.

  32. Nital

    I was on H1B visa and i got a lay off in Feb 2019 and then got 60 days grace period . so before finishing grace period i have filed for h4 visa ( still waiting for approval) and just now i got employer who has filed my H1B . so will it be from H4 to H1B or H1B to H1b ? Am i eligible legally to work based on H1B receipt ? My previous employer H1B is expiring next year .

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Nital,
      It is a tricky situation for you as you are in something called as period of authorized stay. and you do not have full status. If your I-94 was expired, Your H4 will be considered bridge for status. I suggest you check with the attorney of the company that H1B offered. There may be risks associated. You can go for consular processing for sure, but for immediately working, not sure, if it would work as you do not have lawful status now, if your I-94 expired. Talk to your attorney who handles the H1B case.

  33. Curious Aspirant

    If a new employer files my I-129 well within the grace period, say on 30th day, can the start day of new employment be on or after 61-st day without having to go out of USA?
    As far as I understand, the 60-days period is a period of authorized stay and a transfer must be filed by then, but should the new job also begin by 60-th day?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Technically, your grace period ends on Day 60, meaning after day 60, you need to be employed or be in other status to avoid accruing unlawful presence. Yes, you may technically wait until last day, but it is a fine line…

  34. Ravi

    Hi,

    I resigned from employer A and submitted the petition to immigration as a new employment(not transfer of visa) for employer B after 25 days from my last working day from employer A. I applied premium processing and not yet received the case number. What would be the reason for not generating the case number and please suggest what needs to do now.

    Thanks,
    Ravi.

  35. VeeruK

    Hi Kumar

    I am currently working on H1B visa, which is valid until December 4, 2019. I applied to graduate school and got admitted into PhD program for Fall 2019 term. The semester start date in I-20 is August 20, 2019. My change of status from H1B to F1 visa has been approved, effective July 23, 2019.

    If my last working day on H1B visa is July 8, will I be considered out of status from July 9 until July 22 (since my F1 status starts on July 23)? What will be my status for these days during the transition from H1B to F1?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, technically, you do not have an official status during that period as you are not on H1B anymore. You maybe using the 60 days grace period…The grace period only comes in, when there is a job lay off and you apply for new H1B. The grace period is entirely a USCIS discretion thing and you cannot assume and take that 60 days grace period. I would suggest, you discuss with your H1B attorney or your DSO once to make sure you can use the same or if you need to do anything.

      1. VeeruK

        Hi Kumar

        Thanks for your response. I am planning to work until July 22, 2019, after giving my 2 weeks notice on July 8. I asked about July 8 as worst case scenario, in case my employer wants me to leave on the same day I give my notice. Does that mean it will be considered as layoff/termination, instead of my resignation? Will I be OK if I work until July 22 so that my visa status changes to F1 from July 23, 2019?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          If you have such agreement with employer, it is better to quit on July 22, so that your status continues without any break to F1 on July 23rd.

  36. choudhary

    H1B got denied but which ever client I am working they are applying full time now with Different role?

    I have left Company A on Jan 4th 2019 and Company B join on Receipt . Company A revoked the H1B on March 20th 2019.
    But Company B H1B transfer got denied on Jun 14th 2019.
    But Company C applied LCA on Jun 7th 2019 and LCA approved. And file H1B now as Full time. C company is client for Company B

    What will be the next steps

    Will I have 60 Days Grace period or not?

    Note : Company A I 797 – I 94 Valid till Jan 2020

  37. rajesh

    I lost full-time Job on 5th May with Employer A, I had an approved I-40 from 1 year from Employer A. so I have 60 days of grace period before I am out of status, I got a job at employer B(EVC Model) and H1B receipt came on 6th June and I joined them on 10th June as the employer was not willing to wait for any single day. I got another better offer from Employer C(EVC Model) they got my LCA approved and filled by H1B June 10th which reached and accepted by USCIS on June 11th in regular processing, I want to work with Employer C, its good technology, money and close to my home. The Client for Employer C wants me to start only when I receive the H1B receipt hard copy, we tried to convince that I can start once the H1B reached USCIS as the receipt will have the date for 11th or 12th June 2019.

    Should I continue with Employer B till my Employer C receipt is in hand or should I leave Employer B now so they can’t run my paystub as my 60 days period ends July 4th and after that I will be stuck with Employer B as they will be the prime owner of my H1B?

    if my Employer C wants to upgrade my petition to premium , can they do it now or we have to wait for Employer B to withdraw my petition.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      The general guidance is that you need the receipt notice to start working. You could be in potential bridge situation, if you have applied for C after you started to work at B and then applied for it. Check with your attorney as it can be tricky situation.

  38. Tina

    Hi Kumar,

    Thank you for this detailed article on the “grace period”. I am in a situation where I got laid off 20 days ago. Meanwhile, I interviewed with a new firm and fortunately they’ve agreed to file for an H1B transfer under premium processing. Their attorneys have not started on the application yet.

    Meanwhile, I have international travel plans (to Mexico) coming up in a month’s time and was wondering what would be the repercussions if I left the country (US) for Mexico while H1B transfer is in progress.

    1. Would you advise traveling internationally in this situation?
    2. If it is doable, should I request them to file for an advance parole along with the H-1B transfer application?
    3. Do I need to apply for a Mexican visa while I’m in “grace period”?
    4. If the H1B is approved, would I need to wait it out in Mexico to get a new visa stamped in US consulate at Mexico or can I fly back with new I-787 and old visa stamping?

    Thank you,
    Tina

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1. Until you have approval in hand, I would advise you to hold on and not travel internationally, unless it is critical…Because, you need valid stamp to enter, and also valid employment to work in US. When you enter, you do not have approval right, so it would be difficult…
      2. Speak to your attorney on this.
      3. To go to mexico, you need valid US visa, that’s it
      4. If approved, and your stamp on passport is valid, then you can return normally. But, even with stamping, if you do not have valid approval and job in US, then you cannot enter…
      Discuss with attorney as it is tricky situation with pending H1B.

  39. Rm

    Hi, Resigned from H1B and filed for H4 before leaving. Received a receipt and got approved on 4 months. BUT received an automated call after ~6 months for being placed in removal proceedings. Called attorney they said that’s a separate agency and no way for them to confirm. But asked to keep an eye on the mail and phone for another call. USCIS call center said they can’t find any record in the system. Is there a way to verify ?
    Regards

  40. Suresh

    1) Employer B filled Transfer in normal assume i will get RFE or approval after 3 months.
    2) Left Employer A and joined with B based on receipt. Employer A send a withdrawn letter to USCIS with in one week after my last working date.
    3) I got another offer from Employer C within 30 days and they are going to apply transfer.

    Can i resign Emp B and join Emp C within 60 days Grace period ? Or still it considered as bridge application? what is the best way to handle this?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      If your I-94 is expired, you could be in bridge situation, talk to your attorney. Also, the grace period is not always applicable to you resigning and joining, USCIS has discretion to not give you grace period, it is typically used for layoffs.

    2. RM

      Hi Kumar, thank you. I am in the US and my H4 recently approved after 4 months. I did not receive any letter for removal but I received an automated call that I might be placed in removal proceedings. Then I called the USCIS helpline and they said everything looks OK in the system. So my question is would that have been a hoax call or is there is a way for me to verify whether everything is OK from the paperwork and immigration status standpoint ?
      Regards

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        It is FAKE for sure. USCIS NEVER calls you directly with an automated message that you are in removal proceedings. They will first inform by official mail, if any issues. Check USCIS Scam Calls to get an idea. Also, use the tools here on USCIS website to report scams. Check your I-94 online to verify, if it is all good with valid dates. If you are still not convinced, visit USCIS office using their Infopass option and meet an officer. Also, for the community benefit, can you share what the actually was, what was asked and all details here or in User Experiences Section

  41. Juliet

    Aloha! I have a question regarding the H1B1 transfer process. I’m an elementary teacher in Hawaii under a Singapore H1B1 visa, intending to apply for a H1B1 renewal/transfer under my new employer in Washington state. My visa ends on May 31st. For the past few years, I’ve been on a visa extension starting on June 1st and ending on May 31st the following year, since I have been with the same school and have taught summer school in addition to the normal school year. When my new employer in Washington applies for a visa transfer/extension renewal for the new school year, I’m quite certain that employment will not begin till August 1st. Given the 60 day grace period, will the later start date affect the H1B1 renewal/transfer process? Or should I request for the visa to begin before August if that is somehow possible?

  42. Pratik

    Hi,

    I am currently working for Employer A and Employer B has already transferred my H1B visa with a start date May 1, 2019 (example). I have received my new I797 of Employer B. Can i quit my job on April 1, 2019 and take a break of 30 days before starting my new job with Employer B on May 1, 2019? Will my 60 days grace period start? Even if it starts, having a valid H1B from May 1, 2019 create any issues?

    If there won’t be any problem, then can i travel internationally and re-enter with my Employer A visa stamp + Employer B I797?

    NOTE: H1B visa stamp from Employer A is valid until 06/2020 and I94 admission is up to 06/2020.

    Thanks!

  43. Satish

    Hi,

    I am Stem opt ,on valid F1 visa.I am cap exempt on H1b ,as I have an H1b from jan 2013 and my current employer applied for h1b on sept 26.My stem opt ends on Feb 4 and it seems premium processing which was supposed to reopen on Feb 19,may or may nor reopen.

    I am eligible for H4 EAD ,so If I go to India,get H4 stamped and come back to US apply for EAD and wait till H1B is approved or premium restarts and will later do consular processing of H1b so that I continue working on H4 EAD and then H1B .–Will coming back to US on h4 ,will it affect my HBb petition?

    Can i convert my current H1b petition from COS to Consular processing ?

  44. Crazy_Case

    Hi,

    Need help with below information.

    My H1b is going expire very soon. Company B has already filed the LCA, but I suspect it will get certified after day or 2 from my H1B expiration date.

    My question is – can I do H1B transfer after H1B has expired but with a valid I94 ? Is it possible ? Will USCIS process H1B transfer if petition is received by USCIS after 2-3 days or at max within a week after H1B expiration but before I-94 expires ?

    Please advise guys..
    @Kumar your inputs too please.

    Thanks,

  45. Abc

    Hi Kumar,

    a) Due to some pressure at work I had to quit my full time job ( on h1b).
    Once notice period is complete, can I search for a new employer and have my h1b transferred by taking advantage of 60 days grace period while still in USA? My i94 is still valid for another year.

    B) Is it cap exempt if I return to my home country and try to come here via by transferring my H1 to another employer.

    Please kindly guide me.

    Regards,

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      a. Well, you can…but, as it says, it is up to the discretion of USCIS and usually meant for Layoffs…The ideal thing to do is, you search for employer and have them file your H1B before your last date at current company and then you start working for them based on receipt notice…In this case, you do not use the 60 days grace period and considered like a normal transfer.
      b. Yes, you will be cap exempt.

      1. Abc

        Hi Kumar,
        Further, I’m not planning to search for new employer. How soon should I leave the country after my last day at the company. I mean will I have two weeks Or 10 days to wind up.

        Regards,

  46. Ronak

    Hi,

    I have a valid H1B stamped visa till Sep 2019 and have stayed in US for more than 13 months and returned back to India couple of months back. Its unlikely that my current employer would send me back to US before my visa expiry.

    Can companies be able to transfer my H1B while i am still in india? Also what if i cant find an employer who can transfer my petition before my visa tenure expires? Will i loose out on it? I heard that they would be able to do cap exempt, but m not sure if cap exempt can be processed with expired petition.

  47. Nagesh

    Hi, thanks for the detailed information on this topic. However, it does not say exactly how we can know if USCIS has shortened the 60 days for a particular case. Let’s say person A has lost job and has filled for a transfer with new employer in 20 days. And it took another 20 days for USCIS to respond that person A’s Grace period was only 30 days (assuming that USCIS provides that). So, technically Person A was out of status for 10 days. Is there a way to avoid this? Or is there a way to know ahead how many Grace days USCIS is going to give me?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Nagesh,
      You are right, we would not know that until we file the transfer or COS. It is up to USCIS to decide that based on case by case basis. Yes, there is the risk involved as you mentioned…but USCIS has given this grace period with the discretionary clause so that it is not abused to just change jobs by H1B holders and used only in case of dire situations like company going out of business, layoff, etc.

  48. Kumar L

    Can we just resign and automatically get H1B 60 days grace period ? Is it recommended ?
    “So, it is recommended to take the H1B grace period rule for granted and resign job and apply for transfer later…discuss with your attorney before you make any such decisions.”

    For the above question, ‘not’ is missing in the explanation provided by RedBus team.

    It is a small one n shud be fine even if it is not corrected:)

      1. Suresh Jayabharathi

        Should we apply specifically for the 60 days grace period with USCIS when someone is laid off/ quits job since it looks like it is not automatic? If so, please explain how.

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