Fired H-1B workers can get a 6-month reprieve

Amid mass layoffs in the United States, the presidential advisory committee has recommended extending the grace period for laid-off H-1B workers from 60 to 180 days, which could be a reprieve for many affected employees. Over the past six months, many terminated H-1B employees have taken to social media to highlight their difficulty finding alternate employment within the 60-day grace period.
Stephen Yale-Loehr, Professor of Immigration Law Practice, Cornell Law School, says this is the first step in a long process. “First the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is not required to follow this recommendation.
Moreover, even if the USCIS were to extend the grace period, it might have to go through the normal rule-making process to do so. It could take months. Additionally, if USCIS extends the grace period, expect a lawsuit from American workers challenging the change as being beyond the immigration agency’s authority. Finally, an extension of the grace period would not apply retroactively to help H-1B workers who have already been laid off. In sum, laid-off H-1B workers shouldn’t get their hopes up yet. ”
Cyrus D Mehta, managing partner at New York-based law firm Cyrus D Mehta & Partners, called the recommendation “good news” and said the extended period would not take effect immediately. “The current 8 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) rules need to be changed, which is a process because the administration needs to allow for public notice and comment before changing a rule. ”


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