Laid-off H1-B visa holders breathed a sigh of relief when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed that business or tourist visa holders can apply for new jobs and even appear for interviews. However, the visa status must be changed to an employment based visa before starting the job and must get their visa status changed.
“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,” the US Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a series of tweets.
USCIS issued the confirmation on Twitter comes after many laid-off H1-B visa holders, majority of whom are Indians, feared they they will have to leave the country within 60 days of their termination from their previous job. The new information gives the terminated employees more time to stay in the country and look for new jobs.
B-1 and B-2 visas are the most common types of visa issued for a wide range of uses in the United States. The B-1 visa is issued mainly for short-term business trips, while the B-2 visa is issued mainly travelling for tourism purposes.
The USCIS explained that nonimmigrant workers are not aware of the rules and often assume that if they lose their job in the US then they have to leave the country within 60 days.