Solutions for H-1B employees who’ve been laid off (or suppose they is perhaps)

In line with layoffs.fyi, greater than 23,000 tech employees have been laid off up to now this month. For comparability, the positioning tracked 12,463 layoffs in October.

Fb’s father or mother firm Meta introduced the primary main job cuts in its historical past this week, eliminating 11,000 jobs. Like Twitter, Stripe, Brex, Lyft, Netflix and different tech companies based mostly within the Bay Space, a lot of the staff impacted are immigrants on employee visas.

An surprising layoff introduces a component of chaos into anybody’s life, however when an H-1B employee loses their job, a loud clock begins clicking: except they will land a recent place or change their immigration standing inside 60 days, they’re required to go away the nation.

And since tech corporations at each dimension are enacting hiring freezes and planning extra cuts, their capacity to stay and work within the U.S. is all of a sudden in query.

Earlier as we speak, I hosted a Q&A for overseas tech employees who’ve been laid off (or suppose they is perhaps) with Silicon Valley-based immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn.

Alcorn, who writes “Pricey Sophie,” a weekly recommendation column for TechCrunch+, shared common info for visa employees and hiring managers who’re on the lookout for expertise. In case you’re a visa holder who’s been laid off, your first precedence is to “discover a lawyer and determine your final day of employment, as a result of that’s when you have to begin counting the 60-day grace interval,” stated Alcorn.

“You both get a recent job, you permit, otherwise you determine another strategy to legally keep in america, however you will have to take some motion inside these 60 days.” Begin trying now for brand spanking new alternatives, she suggested, as it is going to take a recent employer time to submit paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers.

“The very best-case state of affairs could be that this recent firm recordsdata your recent change of employer petition and USCIS receives the paperwork on or earlier than the 59th day since your final day of employment,” stated Alcorn.

“It takes no less than three weeks to arrange every little thing,” which suggests candidates and employers should transfer shortly because the days depend down. “You almost certainly want a signed provide round day 33,” she stated.

Based mostly on her expertise, Alcorn estimated that 15% of the folks laid off from Bay Space startups are immigrants, 90% of that are H-1B holders. Beneath, you’ll discover solutions to a number of of the questions we acquired [edited for space and clarity].

I used to be laid off whereas I used to be overseas, however my lawyer suggested me to journey again on ESTA, which I did. Does the 60-day grace interval nonetheless apply?

Sophie Alcorn: In case you’re in america on ESTA after being laid off whereas overseas, you’re not in H-1B standing anymore. You’ll want to go away the nation to get a recent H-1B and check out to return again in and begin working.

You don’t have the 60-day grace interval anymore; you’ve deserted it. The one factor you possibly can do to alter or prolong your standing when you’re in america on the Visa Waiver Program for 90 days on ESTA is get married to a U.S. citizen and have them sponsor you for a inexperienced card.

It must be an actual, good-faith marriage. You will have to mean to share a life collectively, you will have to display that your households know one another, that you just do romantic comedy issues collectively and have the images to show it. And the federal government’s going to examine in two years to see when you’re nonetheless married.

I’m at present on an OPT and have an H-1B accredited, however not activated. Can I modify employers with out going via the lottery immediately? Or would my H-1B have to be activated first?

You may truly change employers with out [doing so]. If you’re interviewing for jobs, you have to make it very clear to the HR person who you’re thinking that you’re eligible for an H-1B change of employer, and you actually need their immigration legal professionals to take a detailed look, as a result of primarily, what you’ll need is a change of standing from F-1 or OPT to H-1B inside america, in addition to a change of employer.

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