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What options are available for terminated nonimmigrants?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Immigration And Naturalization

If you are a working nonimmigrant based in New Jersey, your stay might be conditional. In that situation, if you’re terminated from your job, you’ll have to find options to remain in the country. These are a few things you can do.

Understanding the 60-day grace period

There’s a 60-day grace period that lets nonimmigrants keep their status after termination. You may be able to stay, begin working for a new employer, change your status or depart.

Switch over to a new employer

When holding H-1B status as a nonimmigrant, you must switch over to a new employer. This is required through portability rules and allows you to begin working as soon as possible even before the petition filed by your new employer has been approved. You are also allowed to start new employment in the same or similar classified field for a new employer or the same one. You can do this if you have an adjustment of status application, Form I-485, pending for at least 180 days.

Change your status

Change your nonimmigrant status to something different. For example, if you are married, you can become the dependent of your spouse by filing for H-4 or L-2 status. Another option is student status, F-1, or visitor status, B-1 or B-2, respectively. However, if you choose the latter two status options, you cannot perform skilled or unskilled labor in the country. If your goal is to find another job, you may not want to go that route.


Federal immigration law also allows you to depart from the United States. If you continue holding your H-1B status, you can seek employment again to be readmitted at a later time.

Employment termination isn’t the end of the world; as a nonimmigrant, there are ways for you to pick up from there.