Posts made in June 2020

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What Happens If You Overstay Your Employment Visa?

Life happens fast. If you’re staying in the United States on an employment visa, it’s all too easy to find out that you’ve accidentally remained in the country past your approved date. That puts you in a precarious situation. Technically, you’re now in the U.S. illegally, and you can face significant penalties in addition to deportation as a result.

Fortunately, you aren’t out of options. The best thing you can do is reach out to a knowledgeable immigration law firm in Houston, TX, for help. The professionals there can help you navigate the complex next steps to handling your immigration status.

Act Quickly

The sooner you get in touch with a lawyer, the less severe your circumstances are likely to be. An immigration law firm may be able to look into options like waivers if you’re eligible. Even if you face some penalties for overstaying, they’re often not as harsh when you try to settle the matter quickly.

At Toppins Law Firm, P.C., we handle local cases frequently, and we’ve seen the difference that prompt, professional legal action can make in a visiting worker’s life. Don’t let anxiety about immigration keep you from getting the sound advice you need to move forward. As soon as you realize you’ve overstayed a visa, get a representative who can help you protect your rights.

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Who Qualifies For L1 Visas?

The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows overseas companies to transfer employees to work in the U.S. under two types of L1 visa programs. One of the benefits of the L1 visa category is that there is no quota or cap on how many may gain the status within each company.

When seeking advice about an L1 visa in Houston, TX, you will find that two sub-categories are very popular.

L1A Visas

The L1A visa covers transfers of executives and managers, including business owners, for up to seven years. L1 visa requirements for these purposes are quite strict, and a detailed description of the duties attached to the position will be required. Applicants are issued an L1A visa initially for three years, extendible in two-year increments to a maximum of seven years.

L1B Visas

This category covers those with specialized knowledge of the company’s products/services, systems, research, proprietary techniques, management, or procedures. The job details should be clearly explained when applying for the L1 visa. Employees in this category are granted an L1B visa initially for three years, and they are extendable to a maximum of five years.

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What Happens When you Losoe your Job with an H-1B Visa?

Workers in the country on H-1B visas can, unfortunately, end up losing the job upon which their status and visa depend. This may happen because the company who helped sponsor them for the visa lays them off, or otherwise terminates employment. In the current COVID-19 situation, reduced hours, job losses, and other changes can occur frequently and without advance notice, and it is advisable to seek advice from experts in corporate immigration law in Houston, TX.

Consequences of Losing H-1B Employment

While there are many advantages to having H-1B status, one disadvantage, as  immigration law makes clear, is that someone’s immigration status is based on, and therefore dependent upon, their employment status.

Once someone ceases to be employed, they have a maximum 60-day grace period in which to either obtain another employer to sponsor them for H-1B employment, to arrange a different visa status allowing them to stay in the U.S., or make plans to head home.

When You Are Supposed to Leave the U.S.

Under  immigration law, if someone is not applying to change immigration status in the U.S., then they have up to 60 days after employment ends to leave, or until their status expires if that is sooner.

A small consolation is U.S. immigration regulation 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(E), which requires H-1B employers to pay the reasonable costs of transporting H-1B workers back to their country of residence upon termination of employment.

The employer is not, however, required to pay the transportation costs of the employee’s dependents.