Grace Period for J-1 Scholars and H-1B Employees

J-1 Scholars

J scholars and their dependents may enter the U.S. 30 days prior to the start date listed on their DS-2019. If you arrive to campus early, keep in mind that you are NOT authorized to work until the start date listed on your DS-2019. Instead, we suggest you use this time to acclimate to campus and your new accommodations.

Following completion of your J scholar program, you have a 30 day grace period to remain in the U.S. as a tourist and finalize departure plans.  During this grace period J scholars are NOT permitted to work. This grace period simply provides you the opportunity to prepare for departing or traveling within the U.S., or apply to change to another status. Once you exit the U.S., you will not be permitted to re-enter in J status if your program has finished. You can re-enter the U.S. in another status, such as a tourist, if you choose.

H-1B Employees and TN Employees

H-1B and TN employees and their dependents have a formal 10 day grace period both before and after the employment and status begins/ends. If your employment terminates with the university earlier than initially anticipated, the H-1B/TN will be revoked and you have 10 days to leave the country or 60 days to find new employment following the "cessation of your UChicago employment."  In most instances, a formal “grace period” will be granted by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services on the H-1B Approval Notice (Form I-797), or by Customs & Border Protection on your H-1B/TN I-94 entry record, which allows you to remain in the U.S. for an additional ten days after the end of the H-1B/TN validity period or when employment ends. The 60 day grace period following cessation of employment is a bit more complicated, but it allows the employee/beneficiary to use that 60 days to find another H-1B/TN employer and have that employer file an H-1B/TN portability petition/application for the new employment. This grace period is directionary.  During this “grace period” you are NOT permitted to work.  Please contact an OIA adviser to discuss this in more detail if needed, and see below for a futher breakdown of these grace periods.

  • 10-day pre and post grace periods for E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, L-1, and TN nonimmigrants
    • Up to 10 days before the validity period of the petition begins; and up to 10 days after the validity of the petition ends
    • Unless otherwise authorized (e.g., through portability employment), the beneficiary may not work except during the validity period of the petition.
    • These 10-day periods, especially the 10-day period after the validity of the petition ends, are not automatically given
    • Must appear on petition approval notice or I-94, or it doesn't exist
  • 60-day grace period following early cessation of employment by E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1 and TN nonimmigrants
    • Once during each authorized validity period
    • DHS will not consider the worker and his or her dependents "to have failed to maintain nonimmigrant status solely on the basis of a cessation of the employment on which the alien's classification was based."
    • What is the "authorized validity period? -The employment end date on the Form I-797 approval notice of the petitioner's Form I-129 H-1B petition? -The expiration date on the H-1B nonimmigrant's Form I-94?
    • This grace period is not like the F-1 60-day grace period. Whereas the F-1 grace period is tacked on to the end of a student's program end date after completing a course of study, the H-1B 60-day grace period is the sooner of 60 consecutive days after the cessation of work or the petition end date, i.e., whichever comes first. And so, the 60-day employment-based grace period can occur at any time during the nonimmigrant's authorized validity period, but only once during that period.
    • Whereas the F-1 grace period is tacked on to the end of a student's program end date after completing a course of study, the H-1B 60-day grace period is the sooner of 60 consecutive days after the cessation of work or the petition end date, i.e., whichever comes first. And so, the 60-day employment-based grace period can occur at any time during the nonimmigrant's authorized validity period, but only once during that period.