Many H-1B workers and other nonimmigrant workers have suffered from widespread layoffs in recent months. This includes foreign workers in the technology sector. Tech companies have laid off over 120,000 employees this year, including Amazon, Meta and Twitter, and many were foreign workers on an H-1B visa. Typically, if an H-1B visa holder loses their job, they have 60 days or until their I-94 expires, whichever comes first, to find a new job so they can remain in the country or return home. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued an update on the options for EAD for laid-off workers, including a 1-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in compelling circumstances. However, you should always check with an immigration attorney before overstaying any period of time where you do not have a visa.
Period of Authorized Stay – Compelling Circumstances Employment Authorization Document
Workers who are the beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) may be eligible for a compelling circumstances EAD for up to one year if they:
- do not have an immigrant visa available to them in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin, and
- face compelling circumstances.
Note: A compelling circumstances EAD is a discretionary stopgap measure intended to assist certain individuals on the path to lawful permanent residence by preventing the need to abruptly leave the United States. Workers who begin working on a compelling circumstances EAD will no longer be maintaining nonimmigrant status but generally will be considered to be in a period of authorized stay and will not accrue unlawful presence in the United States while the EAD is valid.
Compelling reasons can be very difficult to prove for tech workers and other laid-off foreign workers. USCIS rarely grants compelling reasons requests, and an application can lead to future immigration problems and denials. An experienced immigration attorney who understands U.S. immigration law can increase your chance for success and advise you on the best chance for success in your case.
Mario Godoy and the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office can assess your immigration application status. We have experience in many different types of immigration cases. We also have an understanding of the impact of new and changing immigration regulations. It can be beneficial for you to contact an immigration lawyer today. Please call 630-912-0322 or reach out to us online today to schedule your initial consultation.