Employers looking to hire workers with experience in the tech industry have a unique opportunity to fill open positions in light of recent high-profile layoffs at major corporations. Many of these recently laid off workers possess H-1B visas, which are nonimmigrant work visas that allow U.S. employers to hire foreign workers with specialized skills for three years, extendable up to three additional years. Companies who may be unfamiliar with the H-1B process should seize upon this chance to increase both the talent level and diversity within their organizations. The St. Louis immigration attorneys at McMahon Berger can help you with the H-1B visa process.
In recent months, the tech industry has experienced thousands of layoffs. For example, Facebook’s parent company Meta was the first to announce a major job cut, eliminating 11,000 jobs. Lyft has cut 13% of its workforce, Twitter let go of roughly half its team, and Amazon reportedly plans to lay off 10,000 employees. It is estimated that 15% of the people laid off from these companies possess some form of work visa, 90% of which are H-1B holders, as many of these companies have relied heavily on H-1B visas to meet their need for workers in specialized fields such as computer science and engineering.
Unlike U.S. employees, when an H-1B worker loses their job, they face very few options to allow them to remain in the U.S. An H-1B worker has only 60 days to acquire a new position with another employer or change their immigration status; otherwise, they must leave the U.S. Given the current employment market, finding a new employer to sponsor a visa is proving to be a significant challenge.
Many H-1B workers who have been living in the U.S. for years awaiting adjustment of their immigration status are now frantically searching for jobs, along with thousands of other tech workers in a newly competitive labor market. Often, they find themselves with little choice but to return to their home counties and then look for another position in the U.S., which would likely come with additional delays at U.S. consular offices abroad.
The best-case scenario for an H-1B worker who has been laid off is finding a new employer willing to pay for and file the paperwork for their change-of-employer petition with USCIS. Given the length of time this process can take, the H-1B worker would need an offer from a new company as soon as possible.
Companies seeking workers with the type of specialized knowledge held by H-1B visa-holders have an opportunity to recruit and obtain top talent if they are willing to sponsor such individuals. The experienced immigration attorneys at McMahon Berger are available to help employers determine the approach that best fits their organization when addressing immigration issues affecting their employees and future staffing needs.
The St. Louis employment attorneys at McMahon Berger have been representing employers across the country in labor and employment matters for over sixty years and are available to discuss these issues and others. As always, the foregoing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice regarding any particular situation as every situation must be evaluated on its own facts. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.