Hit By Layoffs, Thousands Of Indian IT Professionals Struggle To Stay In US

Affected by the layoffs, thousands of Indian IT professionals are struggling to stay in the US

2023 Tech layoffs: Nearly 200,000 IT workers have lost their jobs since November last year (representative)

Washington:

With thousands of Indian IT professionals in the US having lost their jobs due to a series of recent layoffs at companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, they are now struggling to find new employment within the stipulated period after the expiry of their work visas. Employment to live in the country.

According to The Washington Post, nearly 200,000 IT workers have been laid off since November of last year, including some record numbers at companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon.

According to some industry insiders, 30 to 40 percent of them are Indian IT professionals, a significant number of whom are on H-1B and L1 visas.

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical skills. Technology companies depend on it to hire thousands of employees every year from countries like India and China.

L-1A and L-1B visas are available for temporary intracompany transfers to those who work in managerial positions or possess specialized knowledge.

A significantly large number of Indian IT professionals, who are on non-immigrant work visas such as H-1B L1, are now scrambling for options to stay in the US to find new jobs within the stipulated few months. Foreign work visas and also change their visa status after job loss.

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Amazon employee Geeta (name changed) came to the US only three months ago. This week he was told that March 20 was his last day of work.

The situation is getting worse for those on H-1B visas as they have to find a new job within 60 days or else they have no option but to return to India.

In the current scenario, when all the IT companies are busy with work, getting a job in that short period, they feel it is impossible.

Sita (name changed), another IT professional on an H-1B visa, was fired from Microsoft on January 18. She is a single mother. Her son is in his junior year of high school, preparing to enter college.

“This situation is really difficult for us,” she said.

“It’s unfortunate that thousands of tech workers facing layoffs, especially those on H-1B visas, face additional challenges because they must find new jobs and transfer their visas within 60 days of expiration or risk leaving the country. ,” Silicon Valley. -based entrepreneur and community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria said.

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“This can have devastating consequences for families, including the sale of properties and disruption of children’s education. It would be beneficial for tech companies to show special consideration for H-1B workers and extend their expiration date by a few months, as the job market and hiring process can be challenging,” he said.

Global Indian Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO) and Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) on Sunday launched a community-wide effort to help these IT professionals by connecting them with job referrers and informants. FIIDS will work on US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) efforts to influence policy makers and decision makers.

“With massive layoffs in the tech industry, January 2023 has been brutal for tech professionals. Many talented people lost their jobs. Since the tech industry is dominated by Indian immigrants, they are the worst affected,” said Khande Rao Kand.

Dismissed H-1B holders are required to find an H-1B sponsoring job within 60 days or leave within 10 days of being out of status.

“This has a huge impact on family life and children’s education etc. on legal immigrants who pay these taxes and contribute,” said Khande Rao Kand of FIIDS.

Mr. Bhutoria said it would be beneficial to redesign the immigration process to better support H-1B workers and retain high-skilled talent in the US.

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In deep distress, laid-off Indian IT workers have created various WhatsApp groups to find ways to find a solution to the dire situation they are in.

In a WhatsApp group, there are more than 800 unemployed Indian IT workers who are moving between vacancies in the country.

In another group, they are discussing various visa options, with several immigration attorneys who have volunteered to provide their consultancy services during this time.

Rakesh (name changed) was fired from Microsoft on Thursday, saying, “These circumstances have such a devastating effect on us immigrants and it’s nerve-wracking. We’ve lost in some ways.” He is in the US on an H-1B visa.

Adding to the woes of Indian IT professionals is Google’s recent decision to freeze their green card processing. This is mainly because, at a time when they have laid off thousands of employees, they cannot see themselves arguing to USCIS that they need a foreign IT professional as a permanent resident. Other companies are expected to follow suit.

(Other than the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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