H1B 60 Days grace period - Should I leave US or file H4 COS?


I’m currently working on H1 and my I-94 is valid until Dec’2020. I am going to get laid off in two weeks and my employer has sent me a termination letter mentioning my last date and asking me to share details to issue a return ticket. As per them, my H1 will cease to exist after my last day with them.

My understanding was that a 60 days grace period applies in my situation. I’m trying hard to find another job and if doesn’t work out, I plan to apply COS to H4 and EAD within 60 days duration. Please guide me if my understanding is wrong and if I need to leave the country asap.

Hi Anil,

I would like to request assistance on my question.

Thank you.

Not sure how this question did not show up earlier but if you still need help and for the information of others, you can file H4 change of status and H4 EAD in your H1B 60 day grace period.

Thanks @Anil.Gupta! To update on my situation - I filed H4 COS as well as H4 EAD on Nov 28th (within 60 days grace period). Both applications are still pending. Now I have received a great offer from one of the tech giants. Their attorney has suggested to file H1 in premium but for Consular processing. As per them, USCIS puts H1 on hold or issues RFE if H4 COS is pending. I would like to clarify below doubts:

  1. If they file H1 as Consular processing, will I need to go for H1 stamping again? I have a valid H1 visa from my previous employer which is good until Dec’21. If I travel to Canada by road and enter to US on same day showing new I797 (through consular processing) and previous H1 visa, will that work?

  2. Is it wise to file H1 in consular processing and in parallel, wait for H4 COS and H4 EAD to process? These applications were filed on Nov 28th filing to CSC center. If there are chances that these applications can be approved within 2 months (by Mid April), I can schedule my travel around that time.

  3. If I travel to Canada and re-enter on H1, I understand that my H4 COS application will likely be abandoned. Will the period after Nov 28 until I traved abroad, will be be counted as out of status?

Thanks again for all your help, Anil!


You should be able to get new i94 by travelling to Canada and re-enter using valid H1b visa stamp and new approved i797.

I cannot say if the H4 COS and H4 EAD will be approved in next two months. H4 COS usually takes about 10-12 months to get approved based on USCIS service center.

Your H4 COS will be abandoned automatically once you travel outside US. The period of stay in US will be legal as you had filed H4 COS application.