After a hiring spree for technical jobs during the COVID-19, some big-name firms, including Twitter, Meta, and Stripe, are changing course and beginning to lay off workers. The layoffs could be particularly hard for employees on H-1B visas, who will need to find a job within sixty days or leave the US unless they change their visa status.
Tech firms in the USA depend largely on foreign workers, particularly from China and India. For years, these firms have said there is a lack of workers with the required technical expertise, so they turn to the H-1B program to hire workers from overseas to fill specialty roles.
Despite growing risks of economic uncertainty, tech industry demand for H-1B visas remained powerful throughout the year. According to U.S citizenship and immigration services, workers submitted 483,000 H-1B registration for fiscal year 2023, which presents a 56 percent increase over fiscal 2022.
The options for tech workers on H-1B visas
Immigration attorneys say that laid-off employees who intend to stay on an H-1B visa have a sixty day grace period in which they need to find and file another H-1B visa from another company. If not, they will have to leave the country. Other options include going back to school and replacing their status with a student visa to buy more time. Some may pick to apply for a B-2 visa to extend their time in America.
For workers on H-1B visas who are on track to get a green card, losing their work could damage their chances of receiving the green card to become a permanent resident of America, unless they are far along in the verification process.
In simple words jobless foreign workers are not without options. They can try to buy time by, for example, applying for a visitor’s or student visa while they look for work. They can leave America and restart the visa process once they find a new company to sponsor them.
Immigration outflow to Canada
Though the Biden government has loosened restrictions on the number of visas given to Immigrants, backlogs on getting a visa, which worsened during the pandemic, continue, with some wait extended to years.
As a result, attorneys say layoffs in the tech industry could lead to more employees heading to Canada, where they can find friendlier immigration policies and generally face shorter wait times for visas than in America. The timing, at least, would be best. Canada announced recently it is increasing its immigration target amid a labor lack.
In today’s economy, businesses face hard challenges in securing workers they need to help maintain and grow their businesses. This page tells you the significance of temporary visas or nonimmigrants for employers to fill temporary labor needs when they cannot hire enough U.S workers. Whether they work in national parks, agriculture, or at tech startups, immigrants with temporary visas are critical to the American economy. If the present demand for the workers is any indication, they will be even in top demand in future.