The Public Policy Institute of California reports that 10.5 million immigrants live in California. An immigrant with a work visa can legally work in California. If you’re an immigrant in the country on a work visa, you might wonder what happens if you lose your job. There are options for retaining your immigration status.
Loss of employment
You lose your lawful immigration status if you lose your job while on a work visa. General employment visas require you to remain employed to maintain your status.
Your employer will inform U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that you’re no longer employed. Government officials will also learn of your lack of employment. However, you don’t have to leave the U.S. right away.
You’ll have 60 days to find a new job before you risk deportation. The 60-day period starts on the last day of your employment. However, there is an exception to this 60-day rule.
The I-94 expiration date is when your authorized stay in the U.S. ends. You can’t legally remain in the U.S. after the expiration date – even if it expires during the 60 days. There are visa alternatives for you to consider.
Leave the United States
You might decide to leave the U.S. instead of seeking new employment. Your former employer can help with relocation and travel expenses.
Get a new job
Make use of the 60-day grace period to find new employment. Keep in mind that it may take time to find work. You’ll need time for the job search and possibly an interview process.
Your ability to obtain a different type of visa depends on your situation. The U.S. Department of State has a website that contains an extensive list of various visa requirements. For example, with a B-2 visa, you can temporarily stay in the U.S. as a tourist. Another example is the O-1 visa for people with talent in the arts, athletics, sciences, education or business.