H-1B失业/辞职后只能离境?详解60天宽限期

H-1B失业/辞职后只能离境?详解60天宽限期

众所周知,H-1B失业/辞职后,存在一个60天宽限期(Grace Period)的规定。但你是否知道,其实并不是每个人都可以获得60天宽限期?本文将为大家详细分析H-1B 60天宽限期的规定。

自2017年1月17日起, 美国国土安全局(Department of Homeland Security, “DHS”)实行了60天宽限期的规定,以便为持有E-1、 E-2、 E-3、 H-1B、 H-1B1、 L-1、O-1、和TN签证的人员在失业后60天内重新寻找新工作、转换为其他身份或者准备离开美国,提供缓冲时间。宽限期的长度取决于距离身份失效时间的时长:60天或失业/辞职时距离身份失效的天数,两者取其短。即:如果失业/辞职时距离身份失效超过60天,则享有60天的宽限期;如果距离身份失效少于60天,则宽限期只能到身份失效的当天。

我们将在下方通过举例做出详细解释:

1. 小明持有H-1B为A公司工作。小明的H-1B有效日期是从2016年12月30日到2019年12月31日。A公司2019年9月30日将小明解雇了。小明享有60天的宽限期吗?

有。宽限期的长度取决于距离身份失效时间的时长:60天或失业/辞职时距离身份失效的天数,两者取其短。小明在失业时(2019年9月30日)距离身份失效(2019年12月30日)的天数是92天,大于60天。两者取其短,所以小明享有60天的宽限期,并可在此期间寻找一家新的公司为他提交H-1B申请开始新的工作,或者转换为其他身份。

2. 如果A公司2019年11月30日将小明解雇呢?小明仍然享有60天的宽限期吗?

享有宽限期,但不足60天。小明在失业时(2019年11月30日)距离身份失效(2019年12月30日)的天数,是31天。根据公式,宽限期的长度:60天或失业/辞职时距离身份失效的天数(31天),两者取其短。因此,小明的宽限期将于2019年12月31日到期。

3. 在小明H-1B 失效前,A公司提交了延长身份的申请,但却在小明H-1B失效后被拒绝了。小明享有60天的宽限期吗?

没有。如果延长身份的申请被拒绝,发生在身份有效期间结束后,小明不享有任何宽限期。

4. A公司将小明解雇了。在60天宽限期内,小明在B公司找到了一份新工作,并帮小明申请了新的H-1B和延长身份。 新的H-1B的有效期是从2019年12月31日到2022年12月30日。如果小明被B公司解雇了,他还享有60天的宽限期吗?

小明享有宽限期,但宽限期长短以上面提到的“两者取其短”公式而定。在美国逗留期内,每获得一次授权,就有一次宽限期。在每一个授权期间内,宽限期只能用一次。英文原文如下:

“[a]n individual may benefit from the 60-day grace period multiple times during his or her total time in the United States; however, this grace period may only apply one time per authorized nonimmigrant validity period.”

5. 失业时距离身份失效超过60天,就一定会享有60天的宽限期吗?

并不是。如果H-1B持有者,在非移民签证期间,做出了违反身份,在宽限期内非法工作, 欺诈, 或者犯罪等行为,DHS对此H-1B持有者的宽限期有一定的自由裁量权。DHS可以根据情况否决或者缩短他们的的宽限期。

6. 如何申请宽限期?

无需提交任何申请。实践层面,USCIS在申请人事后提交延长身份申请或者转换为其他身份申请时,会依据事实定夺宽限期是否被合理使用。

7. 若没有将宽限期一次性使用完,可以累积到下次使用吗?

不可以。宽限期只能在每一个授权期使用一次并且必须连续使用。因此如果宽限期未用完,余下的时间也不能累积到未来使用。同时也不能够将宽限期分段来使用。

8. 在60天宽限期内,可以工作吗?

不可以。

9. 假如小明主动辞职,那么他还能享有宽限期吗?

可以。无论是雇主方还是雇员方主动提出结束雇佣关系,都不影响H-1B持有人享受宽限期。

 

English version:

H-1B: Getting Fired and then what? – Understanding the 60-day Grace Period

Author: Zeng Law Group, PLLC

Hui Zeng & Anna

You’re an H-1B holder and just got fired. Now what? Have you lost your H-1B status? Do you have to immediately leave the United States? Our office has received many questions related to the 60-day grace period after termination of employment. Today we will try to provide a quick summary on what the 60-day grace period is and how it works.

Effective January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented a new regulation which provides a discretionary 60-day grace period for persons in the E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1, and TN nonimmigrant classifications. In short, upon the termination of employment, the eligible nonimmigrant worker will not lose his/her status for up to 60-days or until the end of the authorized validity period, whichever is shorter. During this time, the nonimmigrant worker may try to find a new employer, apply for a change of status, or simply prepare for departure from the United States.

Let us look at the following examples.

1. Jack is an H-1B visa holder working at Company A. Jack’s H-1B is valid from December 30, 2016 to December 31, 2019. However, Company A fires him on September 30, 2019. Does Jack have a 60-day grace period?

Yes. As mentioned earlier, a nonimmigrant worker has up to 60-days or until the end of the authorized validity period, whichever is shorter. 60-days from the date Company A fired Jack would be November 29, 2019. Jack should be able to use the 60-day grace period because it is shorter than the period from termination to the end of his H-1B status (December 31, 2019)

2. Instead of firing Jack on September 30, 2019, Company A decides to fire him on November 30, 2019. Does Jack still have a 60-day grace period?

No. 60-days from the new termination date would be January 29, 2020, which would surpass the end of Jack’s authorized validity period (December 31, 2019). Jack’s grace period will only last until the end of the authorized validity period (December 31, 2019).

3. Prior to Jack’s H-1B validity period ending on December 31, 2019, Company A filed an extension of status, which got denied after the end of his prior validity period in H-1B status. The denial notice is dated February 2020. Does Jack have a 60-day grace period?

No. There is no grace period after an approved validity period has ended and when an extension of stay has been denied after that period. The 60-day grace period is intended to apply to individuals whose employment ends prior to the end of their approved validity period.

4. Company A fires Jack. Jack is able to find a new job with Company B, which files an H-1B petition and extension of status within the 60-day grace period, resulting in an H-1B visa that is valid from December 31, 2019, to December 31, 2022. If Jack gets terminated by Company B, will he be able to use the 60-day grace period again?

Yes. Jack will have the grace period. However, the length of the grace period depends on the formula: 60-days or until the end of the authorized validity period, whichever is shorter. The regulations state that “[a]n individual may benefit from the 60-day grace period multiple times during his or her total time in the United States; however, this grace period may only apply one time per authorized nonimmigrant validity period.”

5. Is the 60-day grace period guaranteed?

No. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the discretion to eliminate or shorten a grace period on a case-by-case basis. Some circumstances DHS have identified that may result in the 60-day grace period being shortened or eliminated entirely include: status violations; unauthorized employment during the grace period; fraud or national security concerns; and/or criminal convictions.

6. How can Jack request the grace period?

There is no designated application or format for requesting the grace period. In practice, the USCIS will make an after-the-fact determination when Jack applies for an extension or change of status upon cessation of employment. Jack can submit a cover letter or affidavit explaining his job loss and use of the grace period when he files for an H-1B transfer or change of status application.

7. Jack did not use all of the grace period. Is he allowed to carry over the unused days?

No. Jack is also unable to use the grace period (e.g. 60-days in certain cases) in chunks or carry over the unused days into a subsequent validity period. The grace period (e.g. 60-days in certain cases) must be used consecutively, and only once during every petition validity period.

8. Can Jack work during the 60-day grace period?

No. Employment is not authorized during the grace period.

9. Jack decides to quit his current job at Company A. Does Jack still have a grace period?

Yes. The regulation does not differentiate between a worker who is terminated and one who quits. Therefore, the grace period should be available in either situation. However, DHS has discretion in granting the grace periods.

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曾晖律师简介

曾晖律师是Zeng Law Group, PLLC (纽约锦晖律师事务所)的高级合伙人。曾律师连续三年(2017,2018,2019)被美国路透社(Thomson Reuters)超级律师杂志 Super Lawyers评为 Rising Star。在美国执业律师中,仅有2.5%左右的律师能获得此荣誉。曾律师也被 Crain’s New York 杂志评选为2018 Leading Women Lawyers in NYC (纽约市前100杰出女性律师)。

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关于 曾 晖

曾晖律师是Zeng Law Group, PLLC (纽约锦晖律师事务所)的高级合伙人。曾律师被美国路透社 (Thomson Reuters)超级律师杂志Super Lawyers 评为2017年度 Rising Star。在美国执业律师中,仅有2.5%左右的律师能获得此荣誉。