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Lost Your Job on an H-1B Visa in the US? Here’s How to Extend Your Stay

Lost Your Job on an H-1B Visa in the US? Here’s How to Extend Your Stay
  • May 17, 2024 By GigNets
  • Losing a job is always challenging, but it can be even more daunting for those on an H-1B visa in the US. The H-1B visa is tied to employment, so losing your job could mean losing your legal status. However, there are ways to extend your stay and explore new opportunities.

    Understanding the Grace Period

    When an H-1B visa holder loses their job, they enter a grace period of 60 days or until the end of their authorized stay, whichever is shorter. During this period, individuals can stay in the US to seek new employment or make arrangements to leave. It’s essential to act quickly to maximize this time.

    Finding a New Employer

    The most straightforward way to extend your stay is to find a new employer willing to sponsor your H-1B visa. This process involves transferring your H-1B status to the new employer. Once you secure a job offer, the new employer must file an H-1B transfer petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    Exploring Other Visa Options

    If finding a new H-1B sponsor isn’t feasible, consider other visa options. For instance, the O-1 visa is available for individuals with extraordinary abilities in their field. The L-1 visa is for those transferring to a US office of their current employer. Each visa has specific requirements, so it’s crucial to determine which one suits your situation.

    Enrolling in a Study Program

    Another option is to change your status to an F-1 student visa by enrolling in a US educational institution. This move allows you to stay in the country while pursuing further education. It also provides the opportunity to gain new skills, which can enhance your job prospects in the future.

    Applying for a Change of Status

    In some cases, you might be eligible to apply for a change of status to a different non-immigrant visa category. This process involves submitting a petition to USCIS, explaining why you need to change your visa status. Consulting an immigration attorney can help determine if this option is viable for your situation.

    Starting Your Own Business

    For those with entrepreneurial ambitions, starting your own business could be an option. The E-2 visa is available for investors from treaty countries who invest a substantial amount in a US business. This visa allows you to manage your business while staying in the US. However, this path requires significant investment and business planning.

    The Role of Professional Training

    While navigating these options, professional training can be a valuable asset. Upgrading your skills can make you more attractive to potential employers. Companies like Kalkey offer comprehensive training programs and job support solutions. These programs can help you stay competitive in the job market and increase your chances of securing new employment.

    Consulting an Immigration Attorney

    Navigating US immigration laws can be complex. Consulting an experienced immigration attorney can provide clarity and guidance. An attorney can help you understand your options, prepare the necessary documentation, and represent you in dealings with USCIS.

    How to Extend Stay in the US After H-1B Laid Off?

    Extending your stay in the US after being laid off from an H-1B visa involves exploring all available options and acting swiftly. Whether through finding a new employer, changing your visa status, or pursuing further education, it’s crucial to stay informed and proactive. Professional training and legal advice can significantly enhance your chances of success.


    Losing a job while on an H-1B visa in the US presents unique challenges, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your American journey. By understanding your options and taking prompt action, you can extend your stay and explore new opportunities. Investing in professional training and seeking legal guidance are critical steps in navigating this transition.

    For those looking to enhance their skills and improve their job prospects, Kalkey offers training programs and job support solutions. These resources can help you stay competitive in the tech job market, ensuring you remain an attractive candidate for potential employers.

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