Amid mass layoffs across tech giants including Microsoft, Google, Meta, and Amazon, Twitter in the past couple of months, many H1B visa holders have been impacted as in a span of 60 days, they either need to find another company to sponsor their visas or leave the United States. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
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Now, a presidential advisory sub-committee has recommended the federal government to extend the grace period for H1B visa holders from the existing 60 days to 180 days.
Ajay Jain Bhutoria, member of the president’s advisory commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, said as per news agency PTI, “The immigration subcommittee recommends the Department of Homeland Security and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to extend the grace period for H-1B workers, who have lost their jobs, from 60 days to 180 days.”
Highlighting the major challenges faced by H1B workers laid off from their jobs, Ajay Bhutoria said that the current grace period causes hurdles like finding a new job within a tight timeframe, complex paperwork for transferring H1B status and delays in processing at USCIS owing to which many H1B workers are forced to leave the country.
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The extension would provide affected employees with more time to navigate the complex and time-consuming process of finding new employment opportunities, he added.
This comes as nearly 200,000 IT workers have been laid off since November last year, including record numbers in companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon, The Washington Port reported.