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Judith
Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28201
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I am currently working Canadian company here in the US under

Customer Question

Hi, I am currently working for a Canadian company here in the US under an E2 visa. The division that I was working for was sold but there are still many other offices in the US that I can transfer to. My E2 visa is valid till 2020 and my I-94 states I need to return in Feb 2017. Can I stay in the US not working but looking for a job with the same company or do I need to return back to Canada?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

No you may not remain in the US following termination of your E2 employment.

3. Laid Off Employees in Other Classifications - What if you are in some other nonimmigrant classification, such as E (treaty investor), L (intra-company transferee), O (extraordinary ability), or P (entertainer, athlete), and you are laid off?

USCIS Response: Similar to H-1B nonimmigrants, E, L, O and P nonimmigrants are no longer considered to be maintaining valid status as of the day their petitioned for employment has been terminated. The law and regulations do not provide a grace period for E, L, O, and P nonimmigrants whose employment has been terminated, so once the individual is no longer in a lawful nonimmigrant status, he/she usually must depart from the United States.

Depending on the individual circumstances, he/she may be eligible to remain in the United States due to a request for a change of status or for extension of stay that is filed while that individual is maintaining status, or on account of a pending adjustment application. In deciding whether to approve a change or extension of status for any nonimmigrant who has fallen out of status, however, USCIS mayexercise discretion on a case-by-case basis to grant the extension or change status despite the failure to maintain status.

http://www.uscis.gov/tools/ombudsman-liaison/practical-immigration-consequences-foreign-workers-slowing-economy

Once the sale has been ratified by the shareholders or board, your employment authorization ceases.

An exception "may" be if the company is sold to a citizen or corporate entity of the treaty country AND the terms of the acquisition clearly state that the successor in interest assumes all obligations and liabilities of the acquired company. However, if there is a change in Employer Tax Identification Number then that rule may not apply.

Further, obtaining employment with you cannot "transfer" your status to a new company held by the Canadian company. The employer either has to file a petition for you to have a change in employer under the E2 and show that the new employer qualifies an an E2 treaty company. OR, you have to file for a new E2 visa in the country of qualifying treaty like the process you did to come here with your E2 for the company that is sold. In other words it is a new "from scratch" application either way.

Now you may file for a change of status from E2 to B2 here in the US on form I-539 to request time to put your personal affairs in order and prepare for departure. There is no visa status to allow you to be in the US to look for new employment. You can get up to 6 months to sort out your affairs. You have to give USCIS a statement of the precise needs you have to wrap up your ties here, a explanation of a reasonable amount of time to do that not exceeding 6 months, evidence of your ability to support yourself without unauthorized employment while engaging in the wrap-up and if you are departing by air, a copy of your return ticket to Canada.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. Kindly give me a positive rating when you are done. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

A gentle reminder experts are not compensated for their time until a customer rates them with smiley face or stars. Thank you.

Judith

Expert:  Judith replied 1 year ago.

May I answer anything additional for you to earn your satisfaction. I strive to give good customer service and comprehensive answers. I feel I have failed you. Please tell me what additional information would be helpful.
Judith