top of page

H1B Layoff Options: I am on H1B and have been laid off. What options do I have?

Updated: May 5

H1B layoff options after being laid off. I was on an H1B visa and laid off, not a good feeling but these are the options I had, or you will have if you are laid off on H1B:

  • Find a new employer: Start looking for a new job with an employer willing to sponsor your H1B visa. Once you have a new job offer, your new employer will need to file a new H1B petition for you. Luckily, I was able to find the job within 60 days H1B grace period and I started working again.

  • Change status: You can explore other visa options to see if you qualify for a different type of visa that would allow you to remain in the US legally. For example, you may be able to change your status to an F1 student visa or a B1/B2 tourist visa.

  • Depart the US: If you are unable to find a new employer or qualify for a different visa, you may need to leave the US. You will need to depart the US within the grace period given to you by USCIS which is typically 60 days. I referred to this for the allowed grace period on H1B.

Note that I am not a lawyer, but I was recently laid off on an H1B visa and requested Dataneb to publish this article so that others might find it useful.

Finding New Employer Quickly

Finding a new employer quickly while on an H1B visa layoff period can be a challenging task, but there are a few steps you can take to speed up the process. I understand it gets even tougher if you are laid off but these things that will definitely help you.

  1. Update your resume: Make sure your resume is up-to-date and tailored to your job search. Highlight your relevant skills and experience, and include any achievements that demonstrate your value as a candidate. Do not just upload the same resume everywhere.

  2. Leverage your network: This really helped me to line up interviews in a very short period of time. Reach out to your professional and personal contacts to see if they know of any job opportunities that may be a good fit for you. Consider joining online networking groups, and connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn.

  3. Utilize online job boards: Use online job boards such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn to search for job opportunities in your field. Customize your search by location, job title, and other relevant criteria to narrow down your options. One of the biggest benefits of COVID is that you will find plenty of remote job opportunities.

  4. Work with a staffing agency: Consider working with a staffing agency that specializes in your industry. They can help match you with job opportunities that align with your skills and experience.

  5. Be proactive: Follow up on job applications and reach out to potential employers directly to express your interest in their company and inquire about any job openings.

Remember to stay organized, track your job search progress, and be patient as finding a new employer on an H1B visa may take time. Additionally, ensure that any potential employers are aware of the H1B visa process and are willing to sponsor you before you invest significant time and effort into the application process.

H1B to Change of Status

If you are on an H1B visa and have been laid off, you may be eligible to change your status to a different visa category if you meet the USCIS eligibility requirements.

Here are some visa categories that you may be able to switch to:

  1. F-1 Student Visa: If you are interested in pursuing further education in the United States, you may be able to switch to an F-1 student visa. To be eligible, you must be accepted into a full-time academic or vocational program at a US educational institution and demonstrate sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and tuition.

  2. B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa: If you do not have immediate plans to work in the United States but would like to stay for a short period of time, you may be able to switch to a B-1/B-2 visitor visa. This visa allows for temporary business or tourism-related travel but does not permit employment in the United States.

  3. H4 Dependent Visa: If you have a spouse who is a US citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to switch to an H4 dependent visa. This visa category allows for dependents of H1B visa holders to reside in the United States, but does not permit employment.

  4. O-1 Visa: If you have extraordinary ability in your field, you may be able to switch to an O-1 visa. This visa category is reserved for individuals who possess exceptional talent in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and can provide evidence of their achievements.

  5. E-2 Visa: If you are interested in starting your own business in the United States, you may be able to switch to an E-2 investor visa. To be eligible, you must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States and has invested a significant amount of capital in a US business.

Depart the US

If you are on an H1B visa and have been laid off, you may be given a 60 days grace period to depart the United States or find a new job.

It's important to note that your severance notice period does not affect the grace period. The grace period is a separate period of time granted by USCIS to allow H1B visa holders to make arrangements to depart the United States or find a new employer to sponsor their visa.

If you are unable to find a new employer or qualify for a different visa within the grace period, you will need to depart the United States before the grace period expires. If you fail to depart the United States within the grace period, you may be subject to deportation and future visa ineligibility.

It's recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine your options and ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable immigration laws and regulations.

Related Topics

Interested in sharing your story?

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Dataneb is a platform for individuals to share their personal experiences with visa and immigration processes, and their views and opinions may not necessarily reflect those of the website owners or administrators. While we strive to keep the information up-to-date and accurate, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. We strongly advise that you consult with a qualified immigration attorney or official government agencies for any specific questions or concerns related to your individual situation. We are not responsible for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of information provided on this website. By using this website, you acknowledge and agree to the above disclaimer and Google's Terms of Use ( and Privacy Policy (


bottom of page