H-1B techies: An Indian-American technology entrepreneur and academic has stated that the recent massive firing of professionals in the technology industry is a nightmare for those on H-1B visas. He asserts that this issue can be addressed if President Joe Biden issues an executive order to extend the grace period granted to them from sixty days to six months.
This means that a foreign tech worker on an H-1B visa would have six months instead of the current 60 days to find a new job, after which they would have to leave the country.
“President Biden could issue an executive order that increases the time that H-1B techies who have lost their jobs have been out of work from 60 days to six months. Give them a break and give them time to look for a new job. According to Vivek Wadhwa, Distinguished Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Engineering in Silicon Valley, “that’s a very simple thing that can be done tomorrow.”
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. It is essential for technology companies to hire tens of thousands of workers annually from nations like China and India.
Wadhwa, a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Programme, described the situation as nothing more than a “nightmare” for the H-1B visa holders who tech companies have fired.
Job loss a misery for H-1B techies
Over 200,000 people have been fired by major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook since November, according to The Washington Post.
They must leave the country if they do not find work within 60 days. You’ve bought a house, you’ve settled in here, and everything is fine. Facebook is a great company, and then you get laid off overnight,” he said. “Imagine if you’ve worked for Facebook for the past 10 to 12 years and are waiting for your green card. You’re in line and waiting desperately.”
It really is a significant problem for these H-1Bs. He stated, “It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone”. They would have trouble finding a new job due to the nature of H-1B. This is complicated further by the fact that you cannot become a manager if you begin the process as a Programme Analyst. According to Wadhwa, that is a brand-new position with US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“So essentially, you have to now get a job in the same role you had 12 years ago. You can’t move. Your career is in decline. After that, you might be kicked out at any time. This is ridiculous. That is to say, “You know, why put up with this when they can get jobs in India. That is just as good or better, and they can sometimes get salaries that are comparable?” he asked.
Visa Grace Period
Wadhwa, in fact, warned the United States that this might turn the tide against them. As the talented youths and H-1B techies would go back to their home country.
It has been a total mess. I wrote a book about it called Exodus. In it, I said that the tide would turn, people would start coming home, and dozens of billion-dollar Indian businesses would help. That is precisely what transpired. He stated, “We have dozens of companies in India that are worth billions of dollars, and the Indian ecosystem is booming.”
Meanwhile, Indiaspora on Tuesday released a list of its member companies that have expressed interest in hiring H-1B visa holders.