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13 Tips You Have to Know after Facing H1B Layoff

Facing a layoff while on an H1B visa can undoubtedly be frustrating and anxiety-inducing. However, it's important to remember that there are steps you can take and options available to navigate through this challenging period.6-Mar-27-2024-06-08-34-4417-PM

What you can do by yourself asap?

  1. Immediately update your resume on major job sites and expand your job hunting base without aiming for a high salary, just an offer.
  2. Communicate your timeline to recruiters and consider engaging with smaller companies to widen your opportunities.
  3. If you have a good relationship with your boss, discuss the possibility of a pay cut or a smaller severance package in exchange for more time to find a new job.
  4. If you receive a new job offer, start the H1B Transfer Case immediately and opt for premium processing (usually takes 30 days); if the new company hesitates, you can discuss with them detailedly about the expedited fee.

What else you can do by transferring to a different visa?

  1. Returning to school for a degree and transitioning to an F1 visa, followed by seeking employment via OPT or CPT, represents a significant but temporary investment. This approach allows you not only to enhance your expertise in a new field but also to share experiences with your classmates. It serves as an effective means to forge connections across various industries. You might even get referred to a major tech company by one of your classmates! Additionally, as you advance in your immigration journey towards becoming a permanent resident, this strategy can help mitigate risks. 
    (How H1B to F1 works? Read More Here >>> H1B to F1, the Comprehensive Guide of Change of Status)
  2. If you have yet to secure an H1B visa through the lottery and are currently on an F1 visa with your OPT nearing expiration, it might be possible for you to explore options related to CPT.
  3. If you find yourself unable to secure employment and must leave the U.S., don't lose hope—there's still a chance to return and work in the U.S. once the economy recovers. Many U.S. tech companies are likely to re-enter the competition for talent. If you receive an offer later, you may be able to return to the U.S. without going through the lottery process again, provided your H1B has not reached its 6-year limit. Alternatively, you could start with a U.S. company's overseas branch and later transfer back to the U.S. on an L1 visa.
  4. Consider applying for an O1 visa for individuals with extraordinary ability. The O1 visa does not require employer sponsorship and can be expedited. If you're contemplating entrepreneurship, pursuing an O1 visa could be a viable option. As a non-expert, it's advisable to consult with a professional immigration lawyer for detailed advice.
  5. If married, consider becoming a dependent under your spouse’s visa, such as the H4 visa, which allows legal work after obtaining an EAD.
  6. Within the 60-day period, switching to a B1/B2 tourist visa and then reverting back to H1B upon finding employment is feasible, provided the H1B has not exceeded six years. However, processing this change from within the U.S. can be complicated. Since this involves both the USCIS and the Department of State (DOS), the process is more cumbersome and carries a risk of scrutiny. It's recommended to manage this through a professional immigration lawyer.
  7. For H1B holders already in the green card queue, if your I-140 priority date is set, it's crucial to initiate the green card process as soon as possible after joining a new company. While this means going through the process again (LCA+PERM), the advantage is that your new application will retain the priority date you've already secured. 
    (Read More about the H1B Lottery 2025 >>> Understanding the H-1B Visa Lottery: Odds and Changes for 2025 FY)
  8. For L1 visa holders, there’s no 60-day grace period after termination; consider switching to an F1 visa or returning to your home country and waiting to re-enter the U.S. with either an L1 or H1B visa.
  9. Consider applying for a Canadian Permanent Residency for easier U.S. re-entry, especially if you hold a master's degree or higher from a U.S. university.

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