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Get a job in 60 days or get out of US: After Twitter and Meta layoffs, H-1B visa holders plead for work

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaNov 14, 2022 | 16:18

Get a job in 60 days or get out of US: After Twitter and Meta layoffs, H-1B visa holders plead for work

Tech companies are notoriously known for firing employees to make up for the losses, and ever since the pandemic, people are getting fired quite often. Illustration: Geetanjali Singh/dailyO

The Meta and Twitter layoffs have left so many people astonished and shocked, but what comes next for them is nothing less than a nightmare.

Of all the full-time staff who were fired, most of them were under H-1B visas and they had relocated to the US only for their jobs. These people now have 60 days to find a new job, or else they would be deported back.

Meta sacked approximately 13% of its team last week in order to "enhance productivity". Similarly, the saga of firing staff does not appear to have ended at Twitter following Elon Musk's takeover. Musk sacked another 5,500 contract staff on Monday (November 14), after previously firing off 3,700 employees.

Twitter has cut down 50 per cent of its workforce globally. Illustration: Geetanjali Singh/dailyO

Tech companies are notoriously known for firing employees to make up for the losses, and ever since the pandemic, people are getting fired quite often. And with no surprise, Meta has topped the list. 

Photo: Layoff.fyi
Photo: Layoff.fyi

What is an H-1B visa? The H-1B visa is given by the United States under an act called the Immigration and Nationality Act. This visa is for a nonimmigrant work visa that allows US employers to hire foreign workers for speciality jobs. 

For an employee to get an H-1B visa, he/she/them needs to have: 

  • Specialised knowledge about the job,
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent years of work experience in the field. 

This can include occupations in fields such as IT, finance, engineering, architecture or others.

What is the duration of the stay? According to US laws, an H-1B visa allows you to stay in the United States for three years. This can however be extended to six years, after which the visa holder may need to reapply.

What happens if your H-1B employer fires you? Those who were under H-1B visas and were laid off now have three pathways:

  • Get another employer to sponsor you for H-1B employment within 60 days (basically, find another job).
  • Arrange for another visa status allowing you to stay in the US (for instance, apply for a tourist visa to extend your stay).
  • Make plans to head home. 

People's reactions after they were laid off: Linkedin is now filled with job requests from H-1B visa holders and those who have been fired are talking about the anxiety that comes with this. 

Still hard to believe that I was amongst 50% of the employees affected due to layoffs at Twitter. I got logged off company Gmail and slack in the evening along with my whole amazing teammates. No communication or notice.Layoff comes with a deadline for employees like me on H1 Visa, and I have around 60 days to find a new role in the United States.
- Ashley (Qinyuan) Lu, Software Engineer at Twitter for two years'
 
Unfortunately my role was impacted by the Meta layoffs. It still feels surreal to me, but you can’t really change things outside of your control.Coming from a non-traditional background, getting this role meant a lot to me.
- Andrew Ngo, a software engineer at Meta for 11 months
Extremely surprised, my team and I found that I was impacted by the massive Meta layoff that just happened. It’s unfortunate and heartbreaking as I am landing another solid half before holiday seasons. Currently holding an H1B, I still face the substantial challenge of finding the next job chapter in less than four months.
- Xiaohui Huang, Research Scientist at Meta for 1.8 years
Today my entire team including myself were part of the 11,000 employees who were laid off by Meta. I am on H1B Visa which is another hit on top of layoff. I have got 60 days to find another job or lose the #dream.
- Monica Golahalli Seenappa Production Engineer at Meta for 3.5 years
Unfortunately, I was part of the layoffs at Twitter. While I am heartbroken for what happened to me and so many other fellow #tweeps.
- Sushmitha S Nataraj Software Engineer at Twitter Engineer at Meta for 3.5 years
Last updated: November 14, 2022 | 16:18
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