Tech companies have laid off over 120,000 employees this year, including Amazon, Meta and Twitter. Bloomberg reports that major tech firms sponsored 45,000 H-1B workers over the past three years and that at least 350 immigrants were affected by Meta and Twitter’s recent layoffs. What happens to foreign workers when H-1B tech workers are laid off?
An H-1B visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers in specialty occupations such as tech and STEM jobs. There is an annual limit of 85,000 H-1B visas for highly educated and skilled foreign workers with specialized knowledge. With the current U.S. skilled labor shortage, there is high demand in the business and tech industries for H-1B visa holders. The H-1B visa permits workers to stay in the U.S. for between 3 to 6 years. They often renew their visas and stay in the U.S. for years.
H-1B is a guest worker program that allows the visa holder to petition for a green card without affecting their non-immigrant status. Many H-1B visa holders have been in the U.S. for over a decade trying to get a green card and become permanent residents. H-1B visa status does not give the visa holder any special access to becoming a permanent resident confers no special consideration.
If an H-1B visa holder loses their job, they have 60 days or until their I-94 expires, whichever comes first, to find a new job so they can remain in the country or return home. Here are some important facts for laid-off H-1B visa holders:
With all the recent tech layoffs, a group of tech immigrant activists is forming a coalition. They request executive action to extend the 60-day grace period to 180 days temporarily.
A business immigration lawyer works with both employers who want to hire skilled foreign workers. We also work with foreign nationals who want to come to the United States to work temporarily or permanently. Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area, including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will and Lake Counties. Contact Godoy Law Office at 630-912-0322.
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