The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has clarified that those on a US business or tourist visa can apply for new jobs and also appear in interviews for prospective jobs.
The B Visas – B-1 for Business and B-2 for Tourism – are the most common visas issued to foreigners during their visit to the United States.
“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.
#USCISAnswers: 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.
Learn more: https://t.co/zFEneq28L9⬇️
— USCIS (@USCIS) March 22, 2023
At the same time, the USCIS said that before beginning any new employment, a petition and request for a change of status from B-1 or B-2 to an employment-authorized status must be approved, and the new status must take effect.
However, the Immigration centre further stated that a person who has entered the US through the B-1 Visa cannot engage in employment within the domestic labour.
Those on the B-2 Visa are not allowed to engage in ANY employment.
“Alternatively, if the change of status request is denied or the petition for new employment requested consular or port of entry notification, the individual must depart the U.S. and be admitted in an employment-authorized classification before beginning the new employment,” the USCIS said.
However, the body has asked prospective employees to ensure the applicants have changed their visa status before beginning their new role.
Need not exit US
It said that when nonimmigrant workers are laid off, they may not be aware of their options and may mistakenly assume that they have no option but to leave the country within 60 days.
The maximum 60-day grace period starts the day after termination of employment, which is typically determined based on the last day for which a salary or wage is paid.
When a nonimmigrant worker’s employment is terminated whether voluntarily or otherwise, they have a choice of several actions, if eligible, to remain in a period of authorised stay in the United States.
One, they may file an application for a change of nonimmigrant status.
Two, they may file an application for adjustment of status.
Three, they may file an application for a “compelling circumstances” employment authorization document.
Lastly, they may become the beneficiary of a nonfrivolous petition to change employer.
Failure to take action
If the worker takes no action within the grace period, they and their dependents may then need to depart the United States within 60 days, or when their authorized validity period ends, whichever is shorter,” the USCIS tweeted.
If successfully employed
If hired, the foreign worker must put in a petition and a request for a change in status.
The individual would be allowed to work only after their new employment authorised status is approved.
If status change denied
If the change in status is denied, the candidate must depart the United States and re-enter through the US Work Visa (H-1B Visa).
The current grace period given to those terminated from their jobs is 60 days.
However, a presidential advisory panel has recommended a grace period of 180 days.