Covid-19 has changed the rules for travel, engagement and employment. Many companies have started to reduce wages and put staff on leave, and some companies have terminated employees.
If your company had to terminate employment of an H-1B employee, here is a list of things you should keep in mind to comply with immigration and labor law regulations:
You are liable for the “reasonable costs of return transportation of your employee abroad”
If you terminated the employment of your H-1B employee prior to the period of authorized admission (the date that is on the employee’s I-797A Approval Notice), you are liable for the reasonable costs of return transportation of the employee abroad (to his/her last place of foreign residence). You can either offer to directly purchase a flight ticket for the employee or you can offer him/her a cash payment.
Please note that if the employee voluntarily terminated the employment, you would not be liable for the costs of return transportation.
You should notify the USCIS Service Center where the original H-1B petition was filed that the employment with the H-1B employee was terminated
You should send a letter to the appropriate USCIS Service Center and notify USCIS that you would like to withdraw the H-1B petition as the H-1B employee’s employment has been terminated as of a particular date.
USCIS should then send you a notice revoking the H-1B petition, and you should keep both the record that you sent the letter to USCIS along with the USCIS notice revoking the H-1B petition in your Public Access File.
If you do not notify the USCIS Service Center, the H-1B employee could be entitled to back pay and interest until the Labor Condition Application validity.
You should withdraw the Labor Condition Application
You should reach out to the Department of Labor and notify them that you would like to withdraw the Labor Condition Application that was filed with the H-1B petition. Failure to follow these steps could result in an employee being entitled to back pay.
You can find out more about whether an H-1B employee can take leave by clicking here.
You can find key immigration information related to the Corona Virus below.
- Top 10 Covid-19 Immigration Questions
- Implications of Layoffs for employers who have employees on H-1B and/or E-3 Visas
- USCIS announces flexibility for request for evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
- Information on Consular closures during Covid-19
- USCIS issues guidance on Remote 1-9 verification during Covid-19
- USCIS office closures due to Covid-19
- Can I apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits while on a Visa?
- Canada/U.S. Border Closures
- USCIS announces temporary suspension of premium processing
- What can you do if your ESTA is running out?
- Travel Ban for Europe
- Stimulus Bill (All 800 pages)
- Information on Small Business Loans related to the Stimulus package
- USCIS to accept scanned/reproduced signatures instead of “wet” signatures on immigration petitions and forms
- Implications of furlough or termination if you are on a TN visa
- Does the Stimulus Bill impact my immigration status? Is there a public charge concern?
- Understanding the Stimulus Package for Small Businesses and the Paycheck Protection Program
- Small Business Administration COVID-19 Loans
- USCIS to Reuse Previously Submitted Biometrics to Process Work Permit Applications
- USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended Until at least May 3
- SBA Loans and Public Charge Rules – Paychecks Loan Program and Economic Injury Disaster Relief Loan Program
- I am in the U.S. on H-1B visa and my employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak.
- I am in the U.S. on an E-2 visa, can I apply for loans under the Stimulus Bill?
- Does Covid-19 impact my obligations as an H-1B or E-3 Employer?
- I am in the U.S. on E-2 employee visa. Can I apply for unemployment benefits due to the Coronavirus?
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