If you earn an H-1B visa to work in the U.S., what happens if you lose your job? Unfortunately, the worst sometimes happens. You need to know your options as an immigrant worker in the United States.
An H-1B visa is a valuable document, but it is not a guarantee that you will be able to remain in the U.S. no matter what. See below to learn more about your immigrant status after losing your job.
What is at-will employment?
Typically, H-1B employees are “at-will” hires. This means your employer can fire you at any time. You might have a separate employment agreement in your written contract. Unless a clause was stated explicitly in your contract, assume that you are an “at-will” hire. If you are unsure of your status, reach out to a coworker or manager.
Do I receive benefits?
Immigrant workers receive the same benefits as citizens after termination. Make sure you receive your rightful severance package if your company offers one.
How long do I have?
Once you lose a job that ties you to the United States, you have 60 days to arrange a different visa status, head home or find another job. If your visa expires in less than 60 days, you must leave or secure your visa status before that time passes.
Who pays for my deportation?
According to U.S. code 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(E), an employer must pay to transport H-1B workers to their previous country. This does not apply to H-4 dependents such as children and spouses.
Losing your job as an immigrant is hard. However, you still have rights in your favor. Consult with a professional if you have questions about your status as a worker in the U.S.