Laid-off H-1B holders: Thousands of immigrants are caught in the crossfire of the years-long talent war waged by the tech industry.
Several tech giants announced thousands of layoffs within a fortnight, beginning with mass layoffs at Elon Musk’s Twitter.
As Big Tech enters its layoff season, Facebook-owned Meta, Amazon’s e-commerce giant, and Stripe, a payments startup, have all announced significant job cuts.
Laid-off H-1B holders
While thousands have proactively been left jobless with additional cuts expected, those on H-1B visas have been placed on a 60-day cutoff time to have the option to stay in the United States.
As of September 2019, the United States had 583,420 H-1B authorized work permit holders, according to data released by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Debarghya Das, the founding engineer of work assistant Glean in California, claims that H-1B holders account for approximately 5–15% of the more than 100,000 layoffs that have already taken place in the United States.
He shares ten tips for such workers to remain in the United States:
- Conduct a thorough, immediate interview. Check out jobs for startups on AngelList. Don’t overthink compensation. Receive only an offer.
- Explain your timeline by writing to the smaller association or your recruiter.
- Keep in mind that your new company will need to submit an LCA (7-10 days) and an H-1B, so opt for premium processing to receive a response within 15 days. Before day 60, the I-129 petition must be received!
- In the worst case, you’ll have to leave if you can’t find a job. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do the lottery again to get a job back in the United States. Your new H-1B should be “consular processing” which gets some margin for visa interviews and so on yet there’s a way.
- Consider submitting an O-1 application for “extraordinary ability.”If you’re eligible, a good lawyer can tell you, and you might be. This does not involve an employer. It is available for premium processing.
- Make an effort to bargain with your employer for less severance pay and more employment time. Your chances are much better if you can stay employed until the end of the year. It’s not a good idea to hire during the holidays.
- If you want to extend your timeline, try to become dependent on your spouse.
- Think about using an F-1 visa to go back to school. This is allowed at some cheap colleges.
- Change to a B1 visitor visa if your employer lets you and expands your time. When you get a job, you’ll need to do an H-1B status change.
- Consider “Day 1 CPT” if you are on F-1 and running out of OPT because you did not win the H-1B lottery.
Das suggests that workers with valid visitor visas or PRs can even look for work in Canada and then return to the United States with a new approved I797 and an earlier valid H-1B stamp.
“The immigration support that businesses love to advertise in public relations is typically deplorable. He adds, “Don’t rely on it.”
A great time to start your own business:
As the global tech industry is experiencing layoffs, numerous companies have offered assistance to immigrants who have lost their jobs.
Special programs have been announced by VC funds such as Unshackled Ventures, Day One Ventures, AI2 Incubator, Born Global Ventures, and One Way Ventures to fund seed-stage startups with immigrants.
In the meantime, Indian businesses are also encouraging Americans who are losing their jobs to return home. Harsh Jain, President, and co-founder of Dream Sports are among those offering jobs.
“With all the tech layoffs in 2022 (over 52,000!) in the United States, please spread the word to encourage Indians to return home, particularly those with visa issues, to assist Indian Technology in realizing our hyper-growth potential over the next ten years!”Jain blogged.