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How long can you stay in the United States with a work visa but without a job?

With the latest wave of mass layoffs in the United States, here’s how long you can stay in the country with a work visa, but without a job.

Estados Unidos
En varios países, para viajar a Estados Unidos es necesario contar con una visa. Te explicamos qué hacer si este documento expira en tu viaje.

If you are a foreigner and you obtained your work visa to work legally in the United States, but due to some situation you were left without a job; this information is for you.

Working in the United States legally, as a foreigner, is possible thanks to H-1B work visas; which are a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Office (USCIS).

Who can have the H-1B visa?

According to USCIS, H-1B visas are awarded to individuals “who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.

The validity of the H1-B visas can be up to three years, with the possibility of extending the stay up to six years. There are special cases in which the validity of the document can be extended beyond six years, as long as the beneficiary applies through the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act.

That being said, and with the latest wave of massive layoffs in the United States in the last month, keeping a job for three years has been a difficult task, not only for residents, but also for foreigners who work in the United States. So doubts have begun to arise in the latter group about how long you can stay in the nation with a work visa if you are unemployed.

How long can you stay in the United States on a work visa but without a job?

If you are a foreigner and you obtained your work visa to work in the US, but for some reason you lost your job; you should take into account that you will not be able to stay in the country for the rest of the validity of your visa.

This is because the US Government has really strict criteria about foreigners who can stay in the country. That being said, the USCIS will give you 60 days to find a new job, otherwise, the law dictates that you will have to return to your country of origin.