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Got Laid Off while on an H1B? What to do Next?

With several companies freezing hiring and Meta announcing its massive layoffs of more than 10,000 people, the winter is clearly coming the tech world’s way. According to human resources agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the U.S. tech industry laid off 9,587 employees in October alone, which is the largest number of layoffs since November 2020. In the few remaining days of 2022, “no mood for work; no mood for life” has become the common mentality of many tech workers.

Facing career crises as a foreign employee, there is one more thing you need to worry about, namely your legal status in America. Today, we write this article intend to shed light on what to do after an H1B holder got laid off and introduce how day 1 CPT universities can help you under such a circumstance.

You can change your status from H1B to F1 if you got laid off to keep your legal status in the U.S.

Step-by-Step Guide of What to Do after Got Laid Off

If you, unfortunately, become the victim of the economic recession, you shall act quickly. First, go to your HR and discuss a delayed termination. According to immigration law, H1B holders only have a 60-day Grace Period after being laid off, so the further back you can write your termination date, the better it will be for you.

One way to argue for a delayed termination date is to apply for an “unpaid leave”. When doing so, try to make the second last month the “unpaid month”, thus you can still be on the company’s payroll until the last day. Most of the time, USCIS will determine your employment status by checking your paycheck records. Therefore, still having income for the last month will act in your favor.

Before leaving the company, don’t forget to ask your HR to issue you a “Proof of Employment Relationship”. This will be another proof you can provide when USCIS tries to determine the starting date of your Grace Period.

Meanwhile, of course, is to start the next round of job hunting. Under this circumstance, we recommend you act quickly with a strong focus. You are not the only one who got laid off recently. Many people with your skillset will reenter the job market at the same time to spike up the competition. Having a strong focus and applying to jobs that are highly relevant to your technology stack will give you an edge and help you save time. If you found a new post quite quickly, we recommend against canceling the rest of the scheduled interviews right away, since offer revoking is becoming more and more common these days.

What if your Grace Period is approaching to its end and there is still no sign of getting a new job? At this moment, your priority changed from “need to find income” to “need to keep your legal status in America”.

We recommend you solve this dilemma through a “change of status”. The easiest way of doing so is to apply for a day 1 CPT university. Day 1 CPT universities can expedite the enrollment process and issue you an i-20 in a timely manner. In this case, you can first change your H1B status to F1 status, then use CPT to work. Enrolling in a day 1 CPT university not only helps you keep your legal status in America, but also granted you the right to work here. Once you are settled, you may choose either keep using CPT to work or switch back to H1B. At this point, you do not need to go through the H1B lottery again, a simple H1B extension application will do.

Wondering about the details of this process?  Don’t know which day 1 CPT university to choose? You can read more of our blogs or schedule a free consultation with our experts. They have handled many similar cases before. You will be in good hands.

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