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I am in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and my employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak. Do I have to leave the U.S. immediately? How Many Days Do I have?

By April 9, 2020March 29th, 2021COVID-19
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I am in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and my employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak. Do I have to leave the U.S. immediately? How many days can I stay after my employment was terminated?

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.

In the past, people with non-immigrant visas that lost their jobs had to leave the U.S. immediately. This caused a significant amount of chaos for workers and also subjected them to periods of unauthorized stays. In 2017, the government added a 60-day Grace Period for certain nonimmigrant workers.

If you are in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and your employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak, you may have a 60-day grace period during which you can stay in the U.S. and organize your affairs prior to leaving.

Which non-immigrant visa categories provide the 60-day grace period?

If you are in the U.S. on a TN visa, E-1 visa (as an E-1 employee), E-2 visa (as an E-2 employee), E-3 visa, H-1B visa, L-1 visa, or O-1 visa, you will have a 60-day Grace Period after your employment is terminated.

What can I do during the 60-day grace period?

  • You may lawfully remain in the U.S.
  • You are allowed to find a new job and file for an extension or change of status
  • You are not permitted to work for any employer during the grace period

My I-94 expires before the 60-day grace period. When do I have to leave?

Please note that the grace period lasts for up to 60 consecutive days, or until your I-94 expires. If your employment was terminated on April 6, 2020 and your I-94 expires on May 1, 2020, you will have to leave the U.S. by May 1, 2020 and you would not get the full 60-day grace period.

Please see our blog post on how Covid-19 impacts your visa when you click here.

Please click here to find out whether you can apply for unemployment benefits.

Please click here to see whether Covid-19 impacts the obligations of H-1B and E-3 employers.

You can find key immigration information related to the Corona Virus below.

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