An H-1B visa allows an employee to work in the United States as a legal immigrant. But what happens if the worker ends up losing the job that allowed them to get the H-1B visa in the first place?
This valuable document unfortunately does not ensure that a worker will be able to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. Thus, it is important for workers to know what may happen if they lose their job.
Figure out the next step
After losing a job in the U.S., workers will have a 60-day period in which they can arrange a different status of visa. They can also find another job to which the H-1B visa may apply, or they can choose instead to return to their home country. If the visa expires in under 60 days, they will only have that amount of time to make a decision.
Duties of an employer
For those who choose to return home, the Code of Federal Regulations discusses what employers of employees with H-1B visas must do. Employers need to pay for the transportation of workers being returned to their previous country. This does not, however, apply to H-4 dependents like children or spouses of the worker.
Note that immigrant workers also have the same rights to benefits after termination as citizens of the U.S. This can potentially include severance packages, which immigrants should make sure they receive.
It is also important to understand terms of employment at the start of this all. Most employers will hire someone “at will”, meaning they can terminate the employment at any time and for almost any reason. Understanding these matters in advance can go a long way toward helping immigrants out.