What Do You Do If Your H-1B Visa Is Revoked?
Posted by Frank Gogol
Finding out that you are going to lose your job, and with it your H1B visa, is one of the most difficult and stressful times that any nonimmigrant worker in the U.S.A. is likely to experience in their professional life.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important that you remain calm and act quickly. You have options — particularly if you know in advance — and if you follow the correct procedures, you can have a relatively stress-free transition to new employment or new visa status.
Read on to learn more, or check out our video Losing Job and Visa? What to do if your H-1B Visa Is Revoked?
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How to Check if Your H1B is Revoked
If you’re unsure if your H1B visa has been revoked, there’s a simple way to find out.
When employers begin the process of revoking an H1B visa, they must put in a written request to USCIS to withdraw the petition. Once this request is received, the process is fairly instantaneous and USCIS will automatically revoke your status.
There is a window between the date of your termination and the end of your grace period in which this can happen. It may be several weeks before the petition withdrawal is filed, but your H1B status will definitely terminate with 60 days of the termination of the employee.
To check the status of your H1B visa:
- Visit the USCIS Case Status page
- Enter your USCIS case receipt number
- Click “Check Status”
If you follow these steps, you will be taken to a new webpage that will let you know the current status of your case and your current visa status.
Why was your visa revoked?
The first thing to look at here are the different scenarios that could cause your visa to be revoked. To start, despite what you may have heard, your employer does not have the authority to revoke your visa. The only way your visa can be revoked is if the USCIS chooses to revoke it.
There are two scenarios where the USCIS will take this action: the first is if your employer goes out of business, and the second is if your employer requests that your visa be revoked. In the latter scenario, your employer is required to inform the immigration services as soon as your employment ceases.
What should you do if you’re about to lose your job?
If you have been given advance warning that you are going to lose your job, the first thing you need to do is start looking for new employment and research your visa options. Once you lose your job, you are officially out of status, so the earlier you apply for an H1B transfer to a new employer, or a “Change of Status” to a new visa, the better. If you have done this, when your employer contacts the immigration services to tell them your employment has come to an end, any applications you made will not be affected.
What if you lose your job straight away?
If you happen to lose your job without being given any notice, you will need to act quickly or you may be forced to leave the country.
Here’s what you can do:
Once your employment ceases, you are officially out of status and you will not be eligible to apply for an H1B transfer. However, if you can find new employment quickly, you might still be able to get an H1B transfer if you upgrade to premium processing, explain your situation, and mark the application as “nunc pro tunc,” which simply means “now and then.” This will give the immigration services the option to permit the transfer, along with an updated 1–94 card, despite you currently being out of status at the time of application. It is of the utmost importance that you move quickly should you find yourself in this scenario as the longer you wait, the less likely it is that the “nunc pro tunk” method will work.
What if you can’t find work quickly?
If you can’t find new employment quickly you do not have a lot of options. You can look at a Change of Status but only if you have submitted an application before your employment ceased. Otherwise, you might need to consider temporarily leaving the country while looking for new employment. Because you were previously employed and in possession of a valid H1B visa, you may be eligible for a new H1B notice for consular processing. However, this can change from case to case, so you should always seek advice from an immigration attorney.
Have you ever had your visa revoked? Can you offer any advice to people who may find themselves in this position? Tell us in the comments section down below.