U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is providing information for nonimmigrant workers whose employment has terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily. These workers may have several options for remaining in the United States in a period of authorized stay based on existing rules and regulations.
Below is a compilation of options that may be available to nonimmigrant workers seeking to remain in the United States in a period of authorized stay following termination. Please note that not all options below provide employment authorization.
60-Day Grace Period
Regulations permit a discretionary grace period that allows workers in E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B,
H-1B1, L-1, O-1, or TN classifications (and their dependents) to be considered as having maintained status following the cessation of employment for up to 60 consecutive calendar days or until the end of the authorized validity period, whichever is shorter (See 8 CFR 214.1(l)(2)).
During this period, workers may be able to maintain their nonimmigrant status if a new employer timely files a petition on their behalf with an extension of stay request (e.g., an H-1B change of employer petition for a worker in H-1B status).
Alternatively, workers may be able to remain in the United States in a period of authorized stay if they timely file an application to change to a new nonimmigrant status (such as B-2 visitor nonimmigrant status) or an application for adjustment of status, if eligible (see below for a detailed overview of options).
Workers who are unable to timely file a change of status application, or find a new employer who timely files a change of employer petition for the worker, may be required to depart the United States at the end of this grace period.
Portability to a New Employer
Portability rules permit workers currently in H-1B status to begin working for a new employer as soon as the employer properly files a new H-1B petition with USCIS, without waiting for the petition to be approved. More information about H-1B portability can be found on our H-1B Specialty Occupations page.
Also, a worker with an adjustment of status application (Form I-485) that has been pending for at least 180 days with an underlying valid immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) has the ability to transfer the underlying immigrant visa petition to a new offer of employment in the same or similar occupational classification with the same or a new employer. This is commonly referred to as “porting.” More information about porting can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual.
Change of Status
Workers may use the up to 60-day discretionary grace period to apply to change their nonimmigrant status, which may include changing status to become the depe