Can I stay in the US between jobs on H1B visas

I have an H1B visa that expires in July 2019, but the employment associated with that visa is terminating on 30 June 2018. I have another job lined up to start 15 Aug 2018, for which my new employer is petitioning a new H1B visa. I understand that I would need to leave the US for a short period to obtain the new visa. But would I need to leave for the entire six weeks between jobs I understand that I could not work during that time? And how long would I need to leave for? Can I apply for the visa from within the US and then just cross the border and back e.g. go to Canada for the day to activate my new visa?

Asked on March 9, 2018 under Immigration Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

you don't need to get a new visa if the visa you already have is valid.  you would simply continue ot use that visa but you'd have the approval notice from the new employer.  staying within the us during that four month period during which you have no job is a bit problematic because you'd technically be out of status, given that your job is terminated and the new one is not yet begun.  i would probably suggest that you use that time to go abroad and visit your family so that the out of status time in the US does not negatively impact on your future immigration.


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