Skip to main content

Do I get a grace period if my H-1B employment terminates?

a group of employees

H-1b visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits a company to hire workers in specialty occupations . This visa category requires that the foreign worker have a bachelor’s degree, and the U.S. company can employ the worker for up to six years. If the H-1b employee’s ceases, the H-1b employee can generally stay in the US for 60 consecutive days/until his/her I-94 expires. This blog post will go over some common questions that come up with H-1b grace period.

What is a grace period?

If you are in the U.S. on an H-1b status and your employment ceases (either you or the employer terminate the H-1B employment), you can stay in the U.S. for a period of 60 consecutive days or until the end of your I-94 during each authorized validity period. Please note that DHS may eliminate or shorten this 60-day period as a matter of discretion.

How do I find out what is my I-94 expiration date?

This can be found on your H-1B Approval Notice issued by USCIS and if you entered the U.S., you should also be able to see it on the CBP I-94 website. If you check the I-94 website you should also compare it with the H1b approval notice, as the I-94 website sometimes has errors (your admission date could be wrong).

What can I do during the grace period?

During the grace period, you can stay in the U.S. but you cannot work. You can change your status or find a new h1b employer that will be willing to sponsor you for an H1b status.

Can I file a change of status petition during my grace period?

Yes, you can file a change of status petition into another status (e.g. TN, E-2, B-1, B-2) during your grace period. The change of status petition must be received by USCIS before your grace period/your I-94 expires.

What should I do once my grace period/I-94 is up?

Before your grace period/I-94 expires, you should leave the U.S. to avoid overstaying.

My employment was terminated by the employer. Does the employer have to pay for my transportation back home?

If the employer terminated the employment prior to the period of authorized admission (the date that is on the employee’s I-797A Approval Notice), he/she is liable for the reasonable costs of return transportation of the employee abroad (to his/her last place of foreign residence). The employer can either offer to directly purchase a flight ticket for the employee or you can offer him/her a cash payment.

Please note that the employer has additional obligations and you can read our blog post on this here.

Please read our blog post on filing a Change of status petition from H-1b to B here.

FREE H-1B / E-3 Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free H-1B / E-3 Visa Guide, sign up for our free H-1B / E-3 Visa Webinar, or watch our H-1B / E-3 Visa videos.

Download Our H-1B / E-3 Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our H-1B / E-3 Visa Webinar
Watch Our H-1B / E-3 Visa Videos

Set up an H-1B / E-3 Visa Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one H-1B / E-3 Visa consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply

We are happy to offer our H-1B / E-3 visa guide that describes the H-1B / E-3 visa requirements, and other advise to assist with your visa application.
For more info visit our H-1B / E-3 visa service page or schedule a consultation so we can handle your H-1B / E-3 visa process.