The H-2B visa is a nonimmigrant classification that allows foreign workers to fill temporary or seasonal jobs. Like any other nonimmigrant visa, foreign nationals under temporary status must leave once the expiration date arrives. 

How much time an H-2B visa holder can spend in the United States after the visa expires? Keep reading to find out. 

Staying in the United States After an H2B Visa’s Expiration Date – The Fundamentals 

US visa holders under any nonimmigrant status must pay attention to several key deadlines. The first step is to pay attention to the expiration date of the authorized period of stay.  

When a foreign national enters the United States, a US immigration official writes a note in his or her passport with the visa category and the specific date when the authorized period of stay expires. 

Once this date arrives, the visa holder must depart the country or apply for an extension of status. The US Custom and Border Protection website permits you to consult the expiration date on the electronic I-94 Departure Record. 

When a US employer does not plan to extend the stay of an H-2B worker, he or she must leave the country before the I-94 expiration date. For instance, if the employment ends on Monday, and the worker’s I-94 period of stay expires Friday, he or she must depart on Friday (at the latest). 

Staying in the United States After an H2B Visa’s Expiration Date – What Happens If I Stay Without a Permit or Extension? 

Any nonimmigrant worker who decides to stay beyond the I-94 expiration date becomes “unlawfully present” in the United States, resulting in hefty consequences. 

With 180 days of unlawful presence, non-resident aliens cannot return to the United States for three years from the departure date. If someone decides to overstay for a year or more, the ban on returning to the United States is ten years. 

It is fundamental to know when the I-94 expires and plan to either depart or arrange for an extension of stay. 

Staying in the United States After an H2B Visa’s Expiration Date – Are You Entitled to a Ten-Day Grace Period? 

Depending on the situation, an US Immigration officer can give H-2B workers a ten-grace period. In such cases, an H-2B worker can enter the United States up to ten days before the employment starts and remain for up to ten days after the employment ends. 

Please note that all H, L, and O visas require a petition for a ten-day grace period. For instance, if the H-2B employment ends on December 31, 2020, the officer may allow the worker to stay in the United States until January 10, 2021. 

If a US immigration officer decides to grant a ten-day grace period, it is possible to settle one’s personal affairs and consult with an expert attorney to identify alternative solutions. 

How Long Can I Stay in the US After My H2B Visa Expires? – Immediately Consult Attorney Romy B. Jurado 

Waste no time – get in touch with Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.