FAQ: US Allows Tourists To Apply for Jobs, Give Interviews: What’s the New Rule?

The USCIS said that laid-off non-immigrant workers falsely assume that they have no option other than leaving.

2 min read
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After a welcome change in the rules on Wednesday, 23 March, an individual travelling to the United States on a business or tourist visa can apply for new jobs and further appear in interviews.

These visas include B-1, and B-2, a federal agency said, while simultaneously asking prospective employees to change their visa status before starting a new job. 

What are the new rules? What has the Citizenship and Immigration Service said? The Quint answers your FAQs. 


What is the change? 

The B-1 visa status is for a visitor coming temporarily to the United States for short-term business. Meanwhile, the B-2 status is generally for pleasure or medical treatment.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that non-immigrant workers who are laid off incorrectly assume they are left with no option other than to leave the US.

However, the agency clarified that if a non-immigrant worker's employment is terminated, voluntarily or involuntarily, and they take up one of several mentioned actions to try and stay in the US, they can exceed the 60-day deadline to depart.


What Are Some Actions a Laid-Off Employee Can Take? 

According to the USICS, these actions include: 

  • Filing an application for a change of non-immigrant status

  • Filing an application for adjustment of status

  • Filing an application for a “compelling circumstances” employment authorisation document

  • Being the beneficiary of a non-frivolous petition to change employer.

“If one of these actions occurs within up to 60-day grace period, the non-immigrant’s period of authorised stay in the United States can exceed 60 days, even if they lose their previous non-immigrant status. If the worker takes no action within the grace period, then they and their dependents may need to depart the United States within 60 days, or when their authorised validity period ends, whichever is shorter.” 
US Citizenship and Immigration Services

How does this change the job search for non-immigrants?

The USICS said that searching for employment and interviewing for a position are “permissible B-1 or B-2 activities.”

“Many people have asked if they can look for a new job while in B-1 or B-2 status. The answer is, yes,” it said.

But the agency also said that before beginning any new employment, a petition and request to change the status from B-1 or B-2 to a status authorised for employment must be approved and it must take effect as well.

"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 US and be admitted in an employment-authorised classification before beginning the new employment," the USCIS said.

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Topics:  US Visa 

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