Thousands of Indian IT professionals in the US, who lost their jobs due to the recent series of layoffs in companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, are now struggling to find new employment within the period specified under their work visas after their employment has been terminated. work to stay in the country.
According to the Washington Post, nearly 200,000 IT workers have been laid off since November last year, including some record numbers at companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon.
According to some industry insiders, 30 to 40 percent of them are Indian IT professionals, a good number of whom hold H-1B and L1 visas.
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to hire foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Tech companies rely on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
L-1A and L-1B visas are available for intercompany transfers who work in management positions or have specialized knowledge.
A hugely large number of Indian IT professionals, who hold non-immigrant work visas such as H-1B are L1, are now scrambling for options to stay in the US to find a new job in the stipulated few months by the time they get these visas. Foreign work visas after losing their jobs and changing their visa status as well.
The Amazon Gita employee (name changed) arrived in the US just three months ago. This week she was told that March 20 was her last working day.
The situation gets worse for those on H-1B visas as they have to find a new job within 60 days or else they are left with no other choice but to return to India.
Under the current circumstances, when all IT companies are in a frenzy of firing, getting a job within that short period feels next to impossible.
Sita (name changed), another IT professional on an H-1B visa, was laid off from Microsoft on January 18. She is a single mother. Her son is in junior high school, preparing for college.
“This situation is really difficult for us,” she said.
“It is unfortunate that thousands of tech employees are facing layoffs, especially those on H-1B visas who face additional challenges as they must find a new job and transfer their visas within 60 days of termination or risk leaving the country,” a Silicon Valley man said. Resident business and community leader Ajay Jain Botoria.
“This could have dire consequences for families, including selling property and disrupting children’s education. It would be beneficial for tech companies to pay special attention to H-1B workers and extend their termination date by a few months, as the job market and hiring process can be challenging.”
The Association of Global Indian Technology Professionals (GITPRO) and the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) on Sunday launched a community-wide effort to try to help these IT professionals by connecting job seekers with job referrals and informants. FIIDS will work on efforts to influence policymakers and decision-makers of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
“With the massive layoffs in the tech industry, January 2023 was tough for tech professionals. Many talented people lost their jobs. Since the tech industry is dominated by Indian immigrants, they are the ones affected the most,” said Khande Rao Kand.
Laid-off H-1B holders need to find an H-1B care job within 60 days or leave within 10 days after being discharged.
“This has greatly disrupted family life, children’s education etc. for this tax-paying and contributing legal immigrant,” said Khande Rao Kand of FIIDS.
Mr. Botoria said it would be beneficial to redesign the immigration process to better support H-1B workers and retain highly skilled talent in the United States.
In deep distress, the laid off Indian IT workers have formed various WhatsApp groups to find ways to come up with a solution to the terrible situation they are in.
In one WhatsApp group, more than 800 unemployed Indian IT workers are trading among themselves about job postings that are popping up in the country.
In another group, they were discussing different visa options, with some immigration attorneys volunteering to provide their advisory services during this time.
Rakesh (name changed) said he was laid off from Microsoft on Thursday. He is in the United States on an H-1B visa.
Adding to the tragedies of Indian IT professionals is Google’s latest decision to temporarily stop green card processing. That’s primarily because while they’ve fired thousands of employees, they can’t be seen arguing before USCIS that they need a foreign IT professional as a permanent resident. Other companies are expected to follow suit.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)
Featured video of the day
“How about entertainment?” Kareena Kapoor to ‘Bollywood Boycott’
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”