Dear Sophie: My H-1B was renewed, but I’m getting laid off

“Dear Sophie” is a collaborative forum hosted by Extra Crunch and curated by Sophie Alcorn, who is certified as a specialist attorney in immigration and nationality law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Sophie is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law, the fastest-growing immigration law firm in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.”

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Dear Sophie: I’m a software developer at a large company. I just found out that I’m getting laid off and my last day of employment will be in 30 days. I have an H-1B visa that just got renewed, so it’s valid for almost three more years.

I need to stay in the United States because my wife has her own H-1B and a great job that she loves, we have a U.S. citizen baby and we bought a house last year. I’m starting to look for jobs. What should I do from an immigration standpoint?

— Nervous in New Haven

Dear Nervous: First of all, congratulations on turning over a new leaf in your career ;) — I know it can feel scary, but you’re now open to new possibilities for your professional and personal development. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in your situation and have noticed that these sorts of situations usually turn out for the best.

You’re already doing the best thing you can do: looking for another job. You’ll have a 60-day grace period after your last day at work in which you can remain in the U.S. without working. If you can get another job in that time, you’re all set — just make sure your new company knows that they need to file a new petition before the final day of your grace period.