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Do you have to leave the U.S. if you get fired while on a work visa?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION - Immigration

If you come to the United States and take a job, you may use a work visa, such as an H-1B. Employers often have the ability to sponsor immigrants, showing that allowing the employee to enter the United States would be beneficial because they have advanced skills, special knowledge or provide other advantages for that company.

As such, you do have to stay at the job in order to satisfy your visa. You only got that visa because you were taking the job.

But what happens if you get fired? It might not be your fault. Maybe the company is just downsizing. Workers lose their jobs for plenty of reasons that have nothing to do with their performance. But if this happens to you, does that mean you’re going to be deported because you are in violation of your visa?

There is a grace period

It is wise to think about this because being terminated can have more severe ramifications for an immigrant than it would for a U.S. citizen. The citizen can stay and look for another job, but the immigrant would be at risk of being deported.

The good news is that there is a grace period. If you have lost your job, you have 60 days to find another position that satisfies the visa. For many highly skilled workers, it is easy to find another job and remain on the same visa.

But this situation certainly can get complicated, and you may be worried about deportation. Be sure you are well aware of all the legal options you have and the steps to take next.