Layoffs and Your Immigration Status


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This presentation explains how a layoff will impact the immigration status of foreign workers and students, and will provide them with options on how to handle their immigration situation.

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  • It really depends on various factors. Does the employer who filed your LC have the intention to hire you? If yes, is your priority date current?

    Feel free to respond directly to me at I would be happy to try to help you if legally possible.

    Murali Bashyam
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Layoffs and Your Immigration Status

  1. 1. Immigration and Layoffs: What Happens to Your Immigration Status When You Lose Your Job? Murali Bashyam, Esq. Sponsored by the Canadian Expat Network
  2. 2. Frequently Asked Questions <ul><li>What Happens to My Immigration Status After A Layoff? </li></ul><ul><li>How Long Can I Stay in the U.S.? </li></ul><ul><li>What Are My Options? </li></ul><ul><li>What Happens to My ‘Green Card’ Application? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>What is The Difference Between a Visa and an I-94 Card? </li></ul><ul><li>The I-94 Card Controls Your Stay in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>The Visa Just Allows You to Enter the U.S. in that Status </li></ul><ul><li>If You Stay In U.S. Illegally for 180 Days Past Expiration Date on I-94, Barred From Returning to U.S. for 3 Years </li></ul><ul><li>If You Stay in U.S. Illegally for 1 year Past I-94 Expiration Date, Barred from Returning for 10 Years </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>What Happens To My H1B Status After a Layoff? Is There a Grace Period? </li></ul><ul><li>No Grace Period </li></ul><ul><li>10 Day Grace Period only After I-94 Expires </li></ul><ul><li>What If I Want To Stay and Look for Another Job? </li></ul><ul><li>Can File for Change of Status to B-1 Business Visitor </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>I Was Laid off Yesterday But Expect to Have Another Job Offer in a Few Weeks, What Do I Do? </li></ul><ul><li>If in H-1B Status, USCIS has Discretion to Excuse ‘Gap’ Between Termination Date and Filing of New H1B Transfer Application </li></ul><ul><li>The Longer the ‘Gap’, the less likely USCIS Will Excuse It </li></ul><ul><li>What Is the Hardship If the Gap is Not Excused? Be Upfront With USCIS </li></ul><ul><li>Can Go Back to Canada and Re-Enter/Consular Process if No Valid Visa in Passport </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer Application Not Subject to H-1B Cap </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>What About if I hold L1A or TN Status? What Happens Then if I am Laid Off? </li></ul><ul><li>If in L1 or TN Status, You Will Be ‘Out of Status’ Immediately upon Termination. </li></ul><ul><li>Options? Change to B1 Business Visitor or if Canadian, go to Canada and Return Back as a Visitor. </li></ul><ul><li>No Waiting Period for Canadians to Return as a Visitor </li></ul><ul><li>Canadians Can Stay for up to 6 Months in Visitor Status </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>I Hold L1A Status and I was Laid Off. How do I obtain TN Status? </li></ul><ul><li>TN Status for Canadians and Mexicans Only </li></ul><ul><li>Must Have Job Offer from U.S. Company </li></ul><ul><li>Job Must be One That is Listed in NAFTA </li></ul><ul><li>List of Jobs under NAFTA: </li></ul><ul><li>Must Meet Education/Experience Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Can Obtain for Initial Period of 3 Years </li></ul><ul><li>Issues with TNs and Management Consultants </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>What Happens to an F1 Student on Optional Practical Training (OPT) after a Layoff? </li></ul><ul><li>During post-completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular OPT students may not accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment during any post-completion OPT carried out under the initial post-completion OPT authorization. </li></ul><ul><li>STEM students granted a 17-month OPT extension may not accrue an aggregate of more than 120 days of unemployment during the total 29-month OPT period. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>What Happens To My ‘Green Card’ Application After a Layoff? </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on Stage of Processing </li></ul><ul><li>Only Labor Certification? Null and Void </li></ul><ul><li>Only I-140 Approval? Null and Void </li></ul><ul><li>Both Labor Certification and I-140 are Employer Specific </li></ul><ul><li>What If My Employer Wants To Hire Me Back in The Future? </li></ul><ul><li>Green Card is ‘Future Looking’ </li></ul><ul><li>If Intention to Re-Hire Exists, Potential for Case to Continue </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>What is AC21 and How Can It Help Me After A Layoff? </li></ul><ul><li>If I-140 Approved and I-485 Pending for over 180 Days </li></ul><ul><li>Can ‘Port’ to New Employer and Not Lose Green Card Application </li></ul><ul><li>New Job must be ‘Same or Similar to’ Old One </li></ul><ul><li>What if My I-140 Has Not Been Approved Yet? </li></ul><ul><li>Has it Been Pending Over 180 Days? </li></ul><ul><li>If Yes, Legally can Port Under AC21 </li></ul><ul><li>However, Complications in Practice with USCIS </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>What if I am Married to a U.S. Citizen? Do I Still Need to Worry about My Status? </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Citizen Spouse Can Sponsor You for Permanent Resident Status </li></ul><ul><li>Once Filed, Can Stay in U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Can Obtain Employment Authorization Document (EAD) After 2-3 Months of Filing Application </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Can I Get Unemployment Benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>Determined by State Law </li></ul><ul><li>To Get Benefits, Worker Must Be Able to Return to Work </li></ul><ul><li>If A Nonimmigrant Worker is Laid Off, they No Longer Have Work Status in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>A Laid Off Nonimmigrant Worker May Have Problems Getting Unemployment Benefits </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>THANK YOU </li></ul><ul><li>Bashyam Spiro LLP </li></ul><ul><li>Tel: 919-833-0840 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Expat Network </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>