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What to do if you get laid off on an H-1B visa during the coronavirus pandemic

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In April, the unemployment rate in the U. S. jumped to 14.7% — the highest it’s been since the Great Depression. The April…
In April, the unemployment rate in the U. S. jumped to 14.7% — the highest it’s been since the Great Depression. The April jobs report shows that more than 20 million jobs were lost in a single month.
While a sudden loss of employment is cause for concern for anyone, it comes with an additional concern for foreign workers who are in the U. S. on an H-1B visa.
That’s because foreign workers facing unemployment have 60 days from termination to come up with a formal reason for staying in the U. S. That reason must be accepted by the U. S. government, or the foreign worker will have to leave the country.
Jeremy Neufeld, an immigration policy analyst with the Washington, DC, think tank Niskanen Center estimated in a recent article that more than 200,000 foreign workers on H-1B visas could lose their legal status by the end of June. This could include employed foreign workers who have to renew their visas in June.
If you’ve recently lost your job in the U. S. and are on an H-1B visa, here are your options.
The first thing a foreign worker with an H-1B visa should do after getting laid off is consult with an immigration lawyer.
Business Insider spoke to three experts — Karla M. McKanders, a clinical law professor at Vanderbilt University; Lucas Guttentag, a law professor at Stanford and Yale; and Linda Rose, a practicing immigration lawyer — and all three agreed on that step. Rose stressed the importance of consulting with the right type of attorney.
«We strongly recommend the individual consult with a knowledgeable attorney,» Rose said.

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