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The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Wednesday said an individual traveling to the US on a business (B-1) or tourist (B-2) visa can apply for new jobs and even appear in interviews.
But the agency told prospective employees to ensure the applicants have changed their visa status before starting the new role, according to NDTV.
Through a note and series of tweets, the USCIS noted that when nonimmigrant workers are laid off, they may not be aware of their options and may wrongly assume that they have to leave the country within 60 days.
The agency said nonimmigrant workers whose employment is terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, may take one of the several options, if eligible, to remain in a period of authorized stay in the US.
The options include filing an application for a change of nonimmigrant status, filing an application for adjustment of status, filing an application for a "compelling circumstances" employment authorization document, or be the beneficiary of a nonfrivolous petition to change employer.
"If one of these actions occurs within the up to 60-day grace period, the nonimmigrant's period of authorized stay in the United States can exceed 60 days, even if they lose their previous nonimmigrant status," the USCIS said.
Laid-off workers who take no action within the grace period may need to depart the US within 60 days together with their dependents, or when their authorized validity period ends, whichever is shorter, the USCIS added.
"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 agency stated.
The USCIS explained that before taking up a new job, 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.
"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.
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