In April, the unemployment rate in the US jumped to 14.7%, the highest since the great depression. The April employment report shows that in one month it lost more than 20 million jobs. At the time, like a sudden job loss is a concern for everyone, it is accompanied by an additional concern for foreign workers who are in the U.S. on an H-1B visa. This writes the Business Insider.
This is due to the fact that the laid-off immigrants have 60 days from the date of dismissal to come up with a formal reason to stay in the United States. This reason should be taken by the US government, otherwise a foreign worker will have to leave the country.
In a recent article Jeremy Neufeld, immigration policy analyst, suggested that by the end of June, more than 200,000 foreign workers on visas H-1B can lose your legal status in the United States.
If you have recently lost your job in the US and are in the country on H-1B, here is what you can do.
1. Talk to an immigration lawyer
The first thing is to make the immigrant visa H-1B, after firing, is to consult with an immigration attorney.
Journalists spoke to three experts — Carla Mackinder, a Professor of law at Vanderbilt University; Lucas Guttentag, a law Professor at Stanford and Yale University; and Linda rose, a practicing immigration attorney. Rose stressed the importance of consultation with the right type of lawyer.
“We highly recommend an individual consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer, said rose. — Not all immigration lawyers are practicing working immigration.”
Suggested resource: American bar Association-immigrants (AILA) is an organization of lawyers and law professors who advise foreign students, workers and asylum-seekers, as a rule, free of charge.
2. Try to find a new employer
Another option for those who have been recently dismissed, is the search for a new employer.
To continue working in the U.S., persons in H-1B, need to find another employer who is willing to sponsor their H-1B.
Suggested resource: Service citizenship and US immigration services (USCIS) has a hub data employers of H-1B. Those looking for sponsor H1-B, you can use this tool to find out which employers sponsor foreign workers under this visa program in the period from 2009 to 2020.
3. Change visa status within the allotted 60-day period
To change your visa status refers to the variation of reasons of your stay in the United States. This is the official change must be approved by the U.S. government, and it must occur within the 60-day period, which begins immediately after dismissal. Even in the face of the pandemic in the United States is a difficult process.
“The one who is in the United States and wants to change his visa status during a pandemic will be difficult to go through the process, said Mckanders. — The law is complex and constantly changing.”
Start the process of applying for a visa by submitting the application to USCIS. After that, candidates usually undergo several steps, including fingerprinting, interviews, background checks, and sometimes requests additional information.
Guttentag, founded and directed a Project on immigrant rights, American civil liberties Union for nearly three decades, said that under normal conditions the duration of the cycle change of visa status varies from three to 12 months.
March 18, USCIS has suspended all personal interviews. Offices are scheduled to open June 4, and to send the forms recommended to fill online application.
3a. Options for alternative visa categories include guest or student
There are several categories of visas that are likely to have the right of unemployed immigrants.
The first option is visa B-1/B-2 — guest. B-1 visa is intended for those who visit USA for business purposes. Visa B-2 for tourists.
Another option for foreign workers is to try to apply for obtaining a student visa (F-1). However, here time is crucial.
The U.S. Department of state recommends applying for a visa F-1 as early as possible, because the interview varies depending on your location, and pandemic all interviews are suspended until June 4.
4. Apply for spousal visa support
Spousal visa support allows the immigrant to continue to work in the United States, as long as their spouse(s) remains at work in the country. Thus, you will have a legal status in the country as long as it has your spouse(and). But it certainly is not for everyone.
Suggested resource: the U.S. Department of State offers an overview of the spousal visa support, including information about who is eligible to receive a visa and how to apply.