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If I am on a work permit (H-1B) in the USA (meaning I need to leave the country on the day my employment terminates, otherwise I go out of status) and scheduled to leave the country on the last day of my employment due to being laid off, what happens to my legal status if the flight is delayed by a day due to weather conditions? My I-94 and 797 are still valid and active.

I-94 departures are now recorded off the passenger manifests, so in future visa applications, do I have to mention that I overstayed in the USA while out of status as I never really left on the last day of my employment?

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    There is some potentially interesting information about that in Wikipedia. Apparently, it would depend on whether you were laid off or not. – Relaxed Jan 28 '14 at 19:07
  • Good point. Thanks Annoyed. I have updated the question. – happybuddha Jan 28 '14 at 20:07
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    How can a question seeking answers about delayed travel affecting the visa status be off topic ? Close voters, care to explain ? – happybuddha Jan 29 '14 at 2:18
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    @tohecz There is generally no such thing in US airports. – Relaxed Jan 30 '14 at 10:42
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    @happybuddha Because the rules might be different for different classes of visa, and this specific question is about long-term stays for working, not about travel within the scope that we cover here. – David Richerby Aug 24 '16 at 6:46
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Generally speaking you have at least 10 day grace period after the I-94 validity ends to exit see section 214.2(h)(13)(i)(A) for the exact text:

A beneficiary shall be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. The beneficiary may not work except during the validity period of the petition.

So your presence in the United States is valid for at least 10 days past your visa expiration or invalidation.

The consensus on the "grace" period is that you have the leave to remain in the country until your I-94 has expired and if your visa is still valid it can be transferred to another employer and continued.

  • I updated the question. The person still has a valid I 94 but needs to leave the country as he was laid off. – happybuddha Jan 28 '14 at 20:10
  • @happybuddha Which version of I-797? uscis.gov/i-797-info – Karlson Jan 28 '14 at 20:16
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    And anyway, even if not laid off, say your employment and visa were till the 2nd, and you booked a flight for the 12th, using the full 10 day grace period to pack up etc, and then on the 12th a major weather delay meant you didn't leave until the 13th or 14th. The question still applies at that point. Did you leave late? Do you have an obligation in the future to confess and explain an overstay that will be In The System every time you cross the border? – Kate Gregory Jan 28 '14 at 21:48
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    I don't see that it's different. The general question is, if I am complying with my visa by leaving on the 12th, but I can't because of weather, is that an overstay? The fact that sometimes overstays are allowed is not really the point, is it? – Kate Gregory Jan 28 '14 at 22:08
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    "Generally speaking you have at least 10 day grace period after the I-94 validity ends to exit" No. What that provision says is that the date they admit you until on your I-94 can be 10 days past the end of your petition. It does not mean that you can stay past the date on your I-94. – user102008 Aug 23 '16 at 19:35

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