Great news is emerging from Washington that will directly affect H-1B visa holders who may have been victims of the massive job layoffs that have occurred in recent months, including the incoming additional layoff of 10,000 employees by Meta.
A presidential panel has put forth a recommendation to extend the grace period for H-1B visa holders from 60 days to 180 days, which would be extremely helpful for those who have recently lost their jobs. This extension will give H-1B visa holders additional time to figure out their next move and look for new opportunities before having to leave the US.
The recommendation was presented by Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The main concerns behind the recommendation were the vast amount of layoffs occurring that are affecting H-1B holders and how insufficient the current 60-day grace period is to find a new job and deal with complex paperwork, especially considering the backlogs and delays of the USCIS currently.
Many H-1B holders that are affected by the layoffs are skilled workers which are essential to the United States economy. This extension would ensure that we don’t lose these valuable workers, and it would give more time for these individuals to find new employment. For many tech companies, interviews can take up to four or five rounds over the span of a few months – making the 60-day grace period tricky to navigate.
On March 14, 2023, the White House Initiative on AA and NHPIs panel voted yes to move forward the recommendation to extend the H-1B grace period from 60 days to 180 days. Reports say that the USCIS will announce this adjustment within the next 3 months.
Check back for updates as this is a developing story and we will report as soon as official news is released by the USCIS.