If I am on an H-1B Visa and take an unpaid leave of absence form my job for personal reasons (just to have some time off), will I still be in status? I plan to remain in the U.S. the entire time and go back to my employer once done. My employer will keep me on their payroll but I will not be paid.
Although, because it is at your request, it won't be 'benching' ... you still need to be careful.
Can other employees make this request? Is there a company policy as to when you're no longer on payroll if you stay 'off' for too long?
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Whether you can do that depends entirely on your employment contract. If that contrat provides that you are still employed, you are in status.
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I would be careful under this scenario, since the law prohibits the "benching" of H-1B employees. Both you and your employer's immigration lawyer need to check an discuss this in private.
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.