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Could you get deported because you’ve been fired?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Employment-based Immigration

There are many different ways to immigrate to the United States. Some people come to the U.S. on a student visa, for instance, so that they can get an education at an American university. Others come on a tourist visa.

But those who want to stay for a significant amount of time may be interested in looking into more long-term solutions. For instance, when people are looking to immigrate to the United States for work, they may able to use an H-1B visa. These employment visas are often sponsored by an employer that confirms that the individual will get hired and will have a job if they are allowed into the country. This can help to convince the government to approve the visa because there is a clear benefit to allowing entry.

However, an employment-based approach to immigration can create some potential problems for employees. Say that someone gets fired or laid off. Under any circumstances, this would likely be a major financial blow and a hindrance to their career. But could it be even worse if they had used an employment visa? Could a visa holder now get deported for being in violation of their initial visa, now that they no longer have a job?

There is a grace period

This can happen, as employment is required to maintain the stipulations in certain visas. Someone who loses their job may have to leave the country because their visa would no longer be valid. If they overstayed anyway and were discovered by the authorities, they could be deported.

But, the good news is that there is a grace period. For an H-B1 visa, it is 60 days. This may also apply to the following vias types:

  • H-1B1
  • O-1
  • E-1
  • E-2
  • E-3
  • L-1
  • TN

A person who has been fired or laid off has roughly 2 months to secure other employment that satisfies their visa, so that they are no longer in violation or at risk of being deported. It is important to note that this means 60 calendar days, not 60 business days.

A complex immigration process

This scenario helps to demonstrate how complicated immigrating to the U.S. can be and some of the issues that can arise once immigrants arrive. Those who find themselves in this situation need to be aware of all their legal options and the steps they should take to protect their status. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.