Did you know that if you’re travelling to the USA on a business/tourist (B1/B2) visa, you can apply for jobs and even sit for interviews? However, you will need to change your visa status before you begin your new employment.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), on March 22, revealed the same in a series of tweets.
What the USCIS said about job searches on a B1/B2 US visa
The federal agency said, “Many people have asked if they can look for a new job while in B1 or B2 status. The answer is, yes. Searching for employment and interviewing for a position are permissible B1 or B2 activities.”
#USCISAnswers: Many people have asked if they can look for a new job while in B-1 or B-2 status. The answer is, yes. Searching for employment and interviewing for a position are permissible B-1 or B-2 activities.
Learn more: https://t.co/zFEneq28L9⬇️
— USCIS (@USCIS) March 22, 2023
The agency added that before beginning any new employment, you’ll have to file a petition and request for a change of visa status from B1 or B2 to an employment visa and get it approved. “If the change of status request is denied or the petition for new employment requested consular or port of entry notification, the individual must depart the USA and be admitted in an employment-authorised classification before beginning the new employment,” the USCIS said.
While providing information on this matter, the agency shared a link to its website, which had information that cleared a misunderstanding in regard to options available for non-immigrant workers in case they have been fired or have quit their job.
What options do non-immigrant workers without jobs have?
The agency, which administers the immigration system in the USA, explained that when non-immigrant workers are laid off, they may wrongly assume that they have only 60 days left in the USA. But that’s not the case.
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According to the USCIS website, when a non-immigrant worker’s employment is terminated (be it voluntary or involuntary), they can take either of these actions, if eligible, to remain in a period of authorised stay:
- Individuals can file an application for a change of non-immigrant status
- Individuals can file an application for adjustment of status
- One can file an application for a ‘compelling circumstances’ employment authorisation document
- One can be the beneficiary of a non-frivolous petition to change employer
“If one of these actions occurs within the up to 60-day grace period, the non-immigrant’s period of authorised stay in the United States can exceed 60 days, even if they lose their previous non-immigrant status,” as per the information available on the USCIS website.
However, if no action is taken within the said grace period, the individual and their dependents will have to depart the USA within 60 days or until their authorised validity period ends — whichever comes first, the federal agency added.
After being laid off (or quitting), the grace period begins from the day after the termination of employment. This is typically based on the last day for which salary or wage is paid.
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This story first appeared on Travel+Leisure Asia.