Business visas (B-1) and tourist visas (B-2) offer some advantages many people don’t know about. In the case of a layoff or terminated job contract, your choices are not limited to leaving the United States within 60 days if you hold a B-1 or B-2 visa.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently stated that B-1 and B-2 visa holders can apply for new positions and attend job interviews. The federal agency said that B-1 or B-2 visa holders usually have a 60-day grace period after a layoff or terminated employment. In such cases, the affected persons can do the following to continue their stay in the U.S. legally.
- Apply for a change in non-immigrant status.
- Apply for a change in status.
- Apply to an employment authorization document (with compelling circumstances).
- Apply for being the recipient of a “nonfrivolous” petition to change employer.
USCIS says taking the above actions within the usual 60-day grace period will help a B-1 or B-2 visa holder extend their authorized stay in the U.S. even after losing their nonimmigrant status.
Important note: The 60-day grace period usually starts counting from the first day after termination of employment or the payment of the last salary/wage to the nonimmigrant visa holder.
Only when the visa holder and their dependents don’t take action within the grace period will they be required to depart the U.S. after 60 days.
Meanwhile, the USCIS emphasized that affected B-1 or B-2 holders should ensure the approval of their petition and request for a change of visa status to employment-authorized status before starting a new job. The agency says the new visa status should also be allowed to take effect before the visa holder begins a new role.
What about situations whereby:
- The request for a change of visa status is denied.
- The petition for new employment requests consular or port of entry notification.
For any of the two cases above, the USCIS says the affected B-1 or B-2 visa holder must leave the United States and get admitted in an “employment-authorized” classification before starting new employment.
Final thoughts on Applying for Jobs While on a Tourist or Business Visa
Now you know the catch when applying for jobs in the U.S. while on a tourist or business visa. Be proactive and take action quickly within the 60-days grace period if your employment is terminated.
Meanwhile, you should also revamp your Resume, CV, and LinkedIn profile before applying for new jobs. Click here and subscribe to our professional package for a complete overhaul of your job profile.
Share your thoughts on this topic by leaving a comment below. We’ll love to hear from you, especially if you are familiar with visa issues and working in the United States.