Facing a Layoff as an H1B Visa Holder? Steps to Navigate the Situation

The tech sector continues to reel from a wave of layoffs, forcing tens of thousands of H-1B Visa holders into a frantic search for new employment within 60 days—or risk deportation.

Major companies like Microsoft, Meta, Intel, and Amazon have trimmed their workforces, reflecting the uncertainty in today’s economy, where H1B layoffs are becoming increasingly common. For context, in 2022 alone, the top 30 H-1B employers hired over 34,000 new H-1B workers, only to let go of 85,000 employees. That said, there’s hope: 90% of laid-off H-1B visa holders have managed to secure new jobs despite the challenging circumstances.

If you’re navigating this challenging landscape, this guide is here for you, offering insight and support, including when it might be wise to seek the expertise of an immigration lawyer in Queens.

The reason behind layoffs and the tech downturn

In the second half of 2022, big tech companies, including many household-name giants, started cutting jobs, and this trend quickly became a major concern in the industry. Several factors contributed to these tech layoffs, such as economic fluctuations, inflation, rising interest rates, overhiring, and adjustments following the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the job market.

Why did this happen? It seems that a combination of these factors and a drop in profits led these companies to cut costs by reducing their workforce. Leading tech firms, known together as FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google), were particularly impacted, having increased their staff numbers by a massive 80% from 2019 to 2021. This aggressive hiring might have gone too far, setting the stage for large-scale layoffs.

Among those most affected by these layoffs are H1-B visa holders. They face unique challenges when companies reduce their staff. A layoff is not just a business issue—it’s a personal crisis for thousands of skilled professionals who came to the US to contribute to its tech industry. If you are affected by this situation, it might be best to talk to an immigration lawyer in Queens.

What you need to know about H1-B visa terms and conditions

US companies use H-1B visas to hire highly skilled professionals in fields like IT, finance, engineering, and more. If you’re on an H-1B visa and get laid off, you have just 60 days to find new employment or leave the US. This limited time can create immense pressure, particularly during slower hiring periods. Engaging animmigration lawyer in Queensmight be crucial in such circumstances to help you maintain legal status.

Practical tips for surviving under these challenging circumstances

Navigating this complex and stressful landscape requires a well-planned strategy. Here are some tips to help those facing this challenging situation:

  • Consult an immigration lawyer. Don’t hesitate to consult an immigration lawyer in Queens. Having professional legal assistance can make a significant difference in understanding your options. They can clarify alternative visa possibilities and guide your job search in the right direction, ensuring compliance with immigration laws.
  • Start job hunting immediately. Time is critical. Apply for new positions at once, aiming to land a job within 45 days.
  • Explore family options. If your spouse holds a valid H-1B visa, they might be able to extend your stay under H-4 status, providing you time to find new employment.
  • Consider education opportunities. Attending college on an F-1 visa to pursue certification or diploma work might be a viable option, offering a pathway to remain in the US.
  • Explore government discounts. Inquire with potential employers about available government discounts on visa applications for the H-1B category. Government discounts on visa applications for the H-1B category may make you a more attractive hire for companies, easing your transition to new employment.
  • Consider global opportunities. If possible, look for employment outside the US or apply for a tourist visa (B-2). Diversifying your job search or applying for a tourist visa (B-2) can temporarily alleviate immigration pressures, giving you more time to find the right fit.
  • Build a strong network. Maintain and cultivate professional connections. Keeping connections with potential employers and reputable recruiting firms can provide insider leads and enhance your job search.
  • Keep your skills updated. The tech industry evolves rapidly. Continuously improving your skills can make you more competitive, increasing your chances of quickly finding suitable employment.

Facing layoffs as an H-1B visa holder can be daunting, but with careful planning and the potential guidance of an immigration lawyer in Queens, you can navigate this uncertain terrain.

Keep these strategies in mind as you work through the challenges of finding new employment under constrained circumstances. To talk to an immigration lawyer in Queens, contact Berd & Klauss. You can reach us at 212-461-7152.