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Grace Period after Employment Termination on H1 Visa

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  • Grace Period after Employment Termination on H1 Visa


    I am working in SF Bay Area as a software engineer on H1-B visa. My employer had recently notified me beforehand, giving me a couple of weeks time, that my job would end by Nov 30, 2015. I am currently actively searching for new full-time jobs.

    I am leaning towards finding a full time job for myself, rather than approaching an Consultancy. While I am actively searching for full-time jobs, there is also uncertainty, about how long it could take until I get selected in a new company and then getting my H1-B filing receipt. Technically, until then I will be out of status since November 30. Given the Holiday season is soon approaching, I am assuming hiring process in many companies will slow down, though not sure about smaller or mid-sized companies in and outside Bay Area.

    In this situation, I feel a safer resort can be approaching a Consultancy firm, and have them fully get started for finding projects and apply my LCA and be ready to file my H1, by the time any contract with a client is ready. I feel this route things can move predictably faster than my full-time job search route.

    I want to know how long can I continue my full time search, before I finally commit to joining a Consultancy. My main concern is not to have any major problems for being "Out of Status" on H1-B visa for too long, after my last pay roll date, which is Nov 30, 2015. I heard from some people that there is an unofficial grace time ( about 1 month ), from the time you are out of status or last payroll date. The longer wait, the more problems with USCIS, while transferring H1-B visa.

    I want to know people's "recent" experiences of being out of status and then having the H1-B transfer done. How long they were on Out of Status and how difficult was it for them to complete their H1-Transfer, did they experience any problems and what did they have to do to get out of that.

    Is it worth waiting and taking some more time in doing full time job search during the grace time( unwritten 30 to 45 days ) or not recommended ?

    Please post your experiences as soon as possible, as I am running out of time during the holiday season.

    Thanks to everyone.