Each state has its own unemployment benefit laws. In all 50 states, you have to be authorized to work in US, before you can claim unemployment (people on visas such as B1, B2, H4, etc are not eligible to claim unemployment, since they are not authorized to work). In few states, people on H1 are also eligible to claim unemployment benefits.
If you are not a US citizen, the state government will typically contact USCIS to verify immigration eligibility.If you claim unemployment under H1, this means you are no longer legally employed (and hence this could mean you are out of status).
This can affect your green card process (since you are no longer legally employed). ALWAYS talk to your lawyer before applying for unemployment benefits while been on a visa. ICE, after been notified, can deport people who are out of status.
The FAQ information below is specific to state of California. Employment benefits are different for different states. Hence please consider this FAQ as a generic guideline and talk to your lawyer if you are considering applying for employment benefits (on a non-immigrant visa or EAD)
How much do claimants receive?
How long do UI benefits last?
When should an individual apply for UI benefits?
Can individuals who are not U.S. citizens collect UI benefits?
Continue to part 2: http://topimmigrationnews.blogspot.com/2013/02/faq-filing-unemployment-part-2.html