What happens to the foreign workers during mass layoffs?
By now we’ve all heard about the unfortunate mass layoffs being faced by the tech industry. In the face of this, one of the biggest looming questions is: “What happens to the foreign workers on H1-B, L1-A, L1-B , E-1/E-2, O-1, TN visas, etc?”
When individual’s (and sometimes their family’s) legal status in the United States is tied to their employment, situations like this become much more complicated.
Grace Period for Terminated Employees
Foreign employees in E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1, and TN status have a grace period of up to 60 days after the employment is terminated or until the end of their current authorized stay, whichever is shorter. The Employee can use this time to prepare to depart, find another employer that will file a petition within the grace period or change to another status. Note: The grace period is especially helpful for individuals who are eligible for H-1B portability, which permits the worker to begin working as soon as an H-1B portability petition is filed.
We wish every foreign worker in these categories who has been terminated the best of luck in this next step in their journey.
If you need to learn more about your options and next steps, please contact Christine Nsajja Law Firm.
Here are the important considerations employers should take into account when terminating foreign workers on the following visa categories.
H-1B Visa and E-3 Visa termination.
*Give written notice to the employee,
*Give written notice to USCIS (if the petition was filed with USCIS),
*Withdraw the labor condition application (when possible),
*Pay for the cost of reasonable transportation to the employee’s country of last residence.
The employer is not required to pay transportation for dependents.
Employer is not liable for wages if the employee resigns or choose not to leave the United States.
O-1 foreign worker termination
Termination of O-1 employees requires:
*Giving written notice to USCIS and offer to pay the cost of reasonable transportation to the country of last residence.
TN and L-1 employee termination:
There is no specific immigration notification requirement or return transportation requirement.
E-1/E-2 employee termination:
Notification to U.S. consulate that issued the E visa that employment was terminated.
*This is recommended is and not mandatory.