But before beginning any new job they must get B-1 or B-2 status changed to an employment-authorized status
Here is some good news for people visiting the United States on business or tourist visas. They can apply for new jobs and even appear for interviews for prospective jobs.
But there is a catch. In a series of tweets, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) clarified that if such visitors do land a job, they must get their status changed before starting work.
Read: FIIDS seeks H-1B grace period extension to 180 days (March 23, 2023)
And if the change of status request is denied or their petition is not approved before the specified stay period, they must depart the US and come back with a work authorized visa.
“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,” USCIS said in first of the tweets in #USCISAnswers series.
“If you are in B-1 or B-2 status, please remember you may not engage in employment within the domestic labor market (also known as “local labor for hire”) while in B-1 status or engage in any employment while in B-2 status,” it cautioned.
So “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.”
“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-authorized classification before beginning the new employment,” USCIS tweeted.
Read: Everything about premium processing for F-1 visas (March 21, 2023)
B-1 and B-2 visas are the most commonly issued visas for a range of purposes in the United States. The B-1 visa is issued mainly for short-term business trips, while the B-2 visa is issued for tourism purposes. Typically, one can stay in the US for six months at a time with these non-immigrant visas.
The USCIS move comes as thousands of highly skilled foreign workers, including Indians, have lost their jobs due to a spate of layoffs at top US companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.
These H-1B workers must find new employment within the stipulated 60 day grace period under their work visas following the termination of their employment to stay in the country. Many of them who have changed their visa status to tourist visas or student visas to stay in the country, would now get a larger window to look for new jobs.
Meanwhile, UCIS has announced the end of Covid-related flexibilities first announced in March 2020 from March 23. One must respond to any notices or requests from USCIS dated after March 23 by the deadlines listed in the notice or request, the agency said
This includes: Requests for Evidence; Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14); Notices of Intent to Deny; Notices of Intent to Revoke; Notices of Intent to Rescind; Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status; and Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.
Additionally, those wishing to file Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), regarding a decision dated after March 23, 2023, must comply with the deadlines in the form instructions.