Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 7AM - 7PM

SAN FRANCISCO: U.S. tech workers laid off from abroad on employment-based visas are scrambling to find new jobs to avoid being forced to leave the country with their livelihoods uprooted.

More than 150,000 US-based tech jobs have disappeared in recent months, dealing an economic blow to Silicon Valley not seen since the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s.

As a wave of mass layoffs sweeps across U.S. tech companies, many of the unemployed are here on H1-B or other visas that are tied to their jobs, California Congressmen Anna Eshu and Zoe Lofgren say. said.

Eshoo and Lofgren wrote a letter requesting the U.S. Immigration Service to at least double the 60-day period allowed for foreign-born workers born here on employment-based visas to find new jobs. I was.

Dismissed employees must leave the country if there is no new job at the company for which they can obtain a visa.

Seattle-based immigration attorney Termina Watson said, “They’ve gone immeasurably crazy.

“They are completely trapped because they don’t know what they are doing.”

According to Eshoo and Lofgren, foreign-born workers make up nearly a quarter of the US tech workforce.

In many cases, migrant technical workers have settled in the United States and started families, supporters told AFP.

“They go from dual-income households to homeless with mortgages, marriages, car payments, kids,” Watson said.

“Sixty days is not enough time to get my job done. Not enough time to find another job and apply for another H1-B visa.”

India and the Indian Diaspora Research Foundation launched a petition on asking US President Joe Biden to extend the visa grace period to one year for humanitarian reasons.

The petition had more than 2,300 signatures as of Wednesday.

Candelao Cando, director of the foundation, said: “We are asking to extend the grace period and make them understand it.

“Brain Drain”

Proponents argue that the U.S. economy will suffer if the immigrant tech talent drains.

More than half of the multi-billion dollar tech companies here were founded by immigrants, Eshoo and Lofgren said in a letter to the heads of the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Service and Homeland Security.

“To ensure that the successful companies of the future are based in the United States, we need to prevent this brain drain from happening,” the letter said.

Silicon Valley has a large population of immigrants from China, Europe and India, many of whom are not just job seekers but who end up creating jobs with startups and investment capital, Khand told AFP.

Tech talent forced to leave the U.S. with families and dreams are likely to settle elsewhere and never return, Khand argued.

Giving immigrant tech talent a chance to stay could ultimately fuel the startup boom, Watson said.

“If we lose this talent, I think we’re going to be hurt in the future because people will know that America doesn’t care about them,” the lawyer added.

According to Watson, one tactic used by newly unemployed people is to change to tourist visas. This gives him 6 months to look for work and flirt instead of 2 months.

“If they can’t find another job, it will give them time to sell the car, let go of the lease, do whatever they need to do, get the paperwork done to go to Canada,” Watson said. I got

“We keep our doors closed to immigrants, but Canada does the opposite and welcomes them.”

While job cuts at tech giants such as Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft are making headlines, startups are also cutting jobs, said Reza Malekzadeh, president of French Tech San Francisco.

“I think Europeans, especially French people, are culturally unaccustomed because they are not accustomed to being able to fire people so easily,” Malekzadeh told AFP.

“We are trying to help each other. We have yet to see a big wave come back to France. I think they still have hope.” Layoffs strip U.S. skilled worker visas along with jobs

Recommended Articles