As the grace period for laid off H-1B professionals is set to expire at the end of the month, appeals for an extension of the grace period are gaining strength. The grace period, which was announced by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in April, allows certain H-1B visa holders who have been laid off to remain in the US for up to 60 days to find another job or make arrangements to leave the country.
The grace period was initially set to expire on August 19, but was extended until the end of September. However, advocates for H-1B visa holders argue that the 60-day grace period is not enough for the thousands of workers who have been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Advocates point out that, due to the pandemic, many employers have halted their hiring activities, making it difficult for laid-off H-1B visa holders to find another job in the US. Moreover, due to the pandemic, many foreign countries have closed their borders or imposed travel restrictions, making it difficult or impossible for many H-1B visa holders to return home.