Mass layoffs leave dozens of big tech companies and startups bleeding Workers ahead of the holidays, ending a year of contraction for these companies.Thousands of ex-employees remain rush Finding new jobs in the current contracting industry—a daunting task for U.S. citizens, and a potentially life-changing dilemma for laid-off workers on H-1B visas.
The H-1B visa program is a temporary work pathway through which U.S. companies canspecial occupation. “According to the Labor Department, the program is designed to provide employers with services they would not otherwise capable “Acquiring needed business skills and competencies” from the U.S. workforce.The visa limit is 85,000 It is issued once a year and is valid for three years, which can be extended. Once unemployed, H-1B workers can only legally stay in the United States for 60 days unless He found a new job or was reclassified on a different visa.
Sam – who asked reason Not using his real name for fear of reprisals – is eyeing a deadline. Before Friday, he had been working at Carvana, an online used-car retailer. “I thought, ‘Okay, this is my breakthrough into tech,'” he said. “I uprooted … and moved to a city I didn’t know.” Now, he calls the company’s situation “an absolute disaster.”
Citing economic pressure, Carvana recently cut staff 1,500 employees, accounting for 8% of its total workforce. More than 40,000 other skilled workers lost their jobs in November — “more than double the number lost in any other month in 2022, according to Layoffs.fyi,” Write Kenrick Tsai Forbes. stripe, sales force, Yuanand amazon Both announced mass layoffs.Under new owner Elon Musk, Twitter is making waves for its public downsizingwhich has affected thousands of people.
it still exists don’t know How many H-1B workers were among those laid off, but it is known that these visa holders include important share Employees of many technology companies.Using U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Data, National Foundation for American Policy estimate About 8% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees hold H-1B visas, compared with 4% to 5% of Stripe’s workforce (about 300 to 350 people). Bloomberg Report Only “at least 350 immigrants” at Meta and Twitter were affected by the layoffs, according to information gathered by employees. Forbes notes “Thousands of aliens may soon be forced to leave the United States.”
With many large companies shrinking, laid-off workers have dismal chances of finding new jobs in tech.Firms that once employed large numbers of H-1B visa holders are now cautious expand their staff. “If you’re trying to get into another tech company, who’s really hiring at this point?” Sam asked. “Google is very, very selective in hiring. Amazon is on a freeze.”
That has H-1B holders scrambling to find fewer and fewer skilled jobs available, especially squeezed by tough visa rules. While H-1B workers have ostensibly 60 days to find a new job, Sam points out, “It’s not actually 60 days because you need about 15 days to transfer the H-1B from your old employer to your New employers.” Many H-1B visa holders “have no choice” but to go straight home, he said.
Due to the extreme wait times for obtaining a green card, it is not uncommon for foreign workers to hold H-1B visas for years or even decades. This means they have legal status as long as they are employed, but it is still uncertain whether they will remain in the country.indian face especially The wait time for permanent residency is long because nationals of a country can only account for 7 percent of employment-based green cards issued in a given year. “While nearly half a million Indian nationals are in line, only about 10,000 green cards are available to them each year,” notes Bloomberg. “One congressional report It is estimated that Indians applying in 2020 will have to wait 195 years to get their green cards. “
In addition to the lengthy wait, H-1B holders may face difficulties with legal status in the United States if they leave the country, thanks to delays at consulates and embassies during the pandemic. “Even now, the waiting time for an appointment at the US embassy in India is about 200 to 250 days,” Sam said. “I know people who lost their parents during COVID couldn’t leave the country because the U.S. embassies were closed.” If they were stranded abroad, “there’s no guarantee they’d still be employed by U.S. companies.”
H-1B restrictions also end prohibit Foreign workers receive more lucrative or creative job opportunities. The 60-day window to find a new job can force them to take the first available job. Faced with the prospect of self-deportation if they cannot maintain reliable employment, some immigrants who may have held excellent positions at riskier companies, such as start-ups, may settle for less suitable positions.
The end result of these delays and difficulties is that many bright workers want to move elsewhere rather than negotiate with the American system. Sam said his employer was before Carvana offered to start his green card process. “I told them not to do it because I didn’t see the point in doing it,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter if I’m going to get a green card in 25, 30 years, right?”
“There’s been a lot of brain drain among H-1B workers who are considering other options, Canada being the most notable, but also the UK, and many European countries with easier routes,” Sam continued. While wages may not be as high as in the U.S., “many of us are willing to take a financial hit for peace of mind.”
Recent tech layoffs may only affect a small portion of the U.S. immigrant workforce, but they show that substantial reforms are needed to ensure that high-skilled workers continue to come to the United States.Reforms can also address discriminatory issues limit about certain immigrants. Immigration analysts including David J. Bier of the Cato Institute notes An employment-based cap on green cards “doesn’t make sense because nearly all waitlisted, employer-sponsored immigrants are already working in the U.S. in temporary status.” The EAGLE bill, bipartisan legislation introduced in the House and Senate, would exclude Each country’s cap on employment-based green cards exacerbates the wait time for many immigrants.
If Sam doesn’t find a new job in the US soon, he said he’ll focus on Canada instead. Would the calculation be different if extreme backlogs and wait times were not a factor?
“Of course,” he said. “100 percent, I think I’m going to stay here.”