H-1B lay off 60 days grace, options including B-1/B-2, approved I-140, Severance pay

Question details

Many have asked this question before, but since rules and situations are always different, so here I go - I'm on H1B with an approved I-140.

A layoff recently impacted me - my last day on payroll is 10th Feb 2024. I will also receive a severance (lumpsum) within 75 days of Feb 10th. My questions are -

1) Given the market, it may take more than April 10th to finalize an offer and start the H1B transfer. What are the options ( if any ) to extend my stay beyond April 10th?

2) Many suggest applying for B1/B2 (I'm single, have no spouse to move to H4, etc), but I also hear if it's rejected then the time of my stay after April 10th will be an illegal presence, is that true?

3) Say I receive the severance lump sum on March 15th -- are the days from Feb 10th until March 15th counted on company payroll?


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FAQ Transcript

The grace period after a layoff begins after the last pay period ends, lasting either 60 days or the remaining time on the I-94, whichever is less. Options for extending stay legally include derivative visas (F-1, H-1, L-1), practical training, or applying for a tourist visa (B-1/B-2), with guidance for applying for a B-1/B-2 visa.

Regarding visa rejection misconceptions, rejecting a change of status application to B-1/B-2 within the 60-day grace period does not result in an illegal presence. However, applying after this period without legal counsel may lead to unlawful presence. As for lump sum severance pay, uncertainty exists regarding its classification as regular salary for visa purposes. It's recommended to base the 60-day grace period from the date of stopping work for legal safety.


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