is there a grace period for O-1 visas?
July 31, 2007 10:15 PM   Subscribe

is there a grace period for O-1 visas?

someone I know is getting laid off. she's on the same visa as I am, the O-1, and she mentioned today that there was no grace period for her - that she had to find a new employer right away or would lose the visa. this got me worried myself. I was under the impression there was a six week period for this visa during which a visa holder could adjust the status to a new employer. who's right?

I tried the bcis website but couldn't find anything on it.
posted by krautland to Law & Government (3 answers total)
IANAL but I imagine it's like the h-1b - technically there is no grace period, however the department has traditionally allowed a grace period at its discretion. So it seems like basically an issue of risk - the grace period offers you no protection or defence, it just means you're unlikely to need protection or defence during that time.

I suspect that the o-1 is also like the h-1b in another regard, in that if she fails to find a job before her work ends, and she then leaves the country (so that she is not in violation), she could continue to job-hunt (and interview via a tourist visa?) and probably has until the expiry date of the o-1 to find a new employer. The company laying her off is unlikely to go to the trouble of lodging paperwork with the govt that she no-longer works there, so the visa remains in the system, valid as far as they know, until the new place applies for the visa for her, at which the new employer benefits from her visa still being in status (as far as the govt knows), they get her visa updated to themselves, and she can legitimately re-enter to work again.

But yeah, don't know as much about the o-1's, so take this as "stuff to look into" rather than "stuff I've been told".
posted by -harlequin- at 12:02 AM on August 1, 2007

You might want to double check with the international student office at the U.S. university from which you obtained your degree, but a quick Google search turns this up, which says there is no grace period for the O-1.

In general the international student / scholar offices of U.S. universities with large numbers of foreign students and professors are pretty knowledgeable about visa regulations and likely to provide information in a more accessible form than USCIS.
posted by needled at 7:16 AM on August 1, 2007

Good news, of sorts. Your friend has to leave the US or she'll lose her legal status, but the employer is responsible for paying the transportation costs of her return home. INA Section 214(c)(5)(B), 8 U.S.C. Section 1184(c)(5)(B), 8 C.F.R. Section 214.2(o)(16)

Your friend needs an immigration attorney.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:55 AM on August 1, 2007

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