More than 146,000 tech workers have been laid off this year, with 51,000 of them in November alone [reported by Layoffs.fyi in November of 2022]. A large number of these tech workers, although the exact number is unknown, have been on H-1B status. To make matters worse, many H-1B workers from countries with large backlogs find themselves in tough positions as employers are no longer able to sponsor the temporary workers for permanent residence (aka Green Cards).
After their last date of employment, H-1B employees have 60 days of grace period during which they must find another H-1B position and employer, and have a petition filed with USCIS during that time. Otherwise, they must depart the U.S.
With most large tech employers conducting the layoffs, small employers and startup consulting firms may provide the best chances for laid off H-1B workers to remain in the U.S. In fact, this may be a mutually beneficial relationship for small or startup employers and the laid off H-1B employees, many of whom worked for powerhouse companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Meta and Twitter to name a few. In this situation, small and startup employers are able to hire top talent from the industry, talent that would otherwise not be within reach for such companies, and the H-1B employees are able to get a lifeline and preserve their H-1B stay in the U.S. Moreover, due to the direct points of contact within the organization, most small employers and startups generally move at lightning speed in comparison to larger organizations. If well-handled, H-1B workers can find themselves, interviewed, hired, and petitioned for by small and startup organizations within a matter of days.
For more information on small or startup companies attempting to hire and petition for H-1B employees, watch our video below: “Does your Company Qualify to Petition for H-1B Employees?”
Looking to hire laid off H-1B workers? Contact the JEELANI LAW FIRM to discuss your options:
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