December 2, 2023

Immigration Green Card

Immigration Is Good For You

How tech layoffs by Twitter, Meta impact H-1B visa holders

8 min read

The software engineer from San Jose was dismayed when she learned that she was part of
Twitter’s massive layoffs.

A native of India, she’s in the U.S. on an H-1B visa, a special permit for skilled workers. Now the clock is ticking for her to find a new job to keep her visa status.

“It’s like our whole life is being destroyed,” Vidya said of herself and the scores of other H-1B visa holders who have also been
laid off
in recent weeks. The Chronicle is using a pseudonym for her and other laid-off workers in accordance with its
policy on anonymous sources, as they are concerned about their immigration status.

Silicon Valley companies rely on the H-1B program as a source of thousands of employees with specialized backgrounds in computer science and engineering.

Now, as layoffs surge through the industry, those dismissed include scores of H-1B visa holders who face an urgent predicament. Under the visa rules, they have 60 days to land a comparable new job in
a tight market where they’re competing
against a deluge of other displaced tech workers. Otherwise, they must leave the country, or scramble for other solutions, such as trying to buy time by switching to other types of visas.

The layoffs highlight the precarious status of H-1B workers, who can quickly lose their right to live here if their employer jettisons their job to cut costs.


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