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Tech layoffs are putting H1B visa talent in a tight spot

The massive layoffs spanning the tech industry have far and wide effects, including diminishing the US’s top visa talent.

People walking at work representing the tech industry

The U.S. has been a haven for people in foreign nations looking for a job in tech. If you look at the tech industry as a whole – in the US – it’s a melting pot. You have people from various like China, India, and Africa.

They often come to the county on an H-1B visa. The H-1B visa allows someone to stay in the country for an amount of time for work. Because tech has been growing like wildfire. companies have been in need of more progressive talent, which they have found abroad. Companies like Meta, Twitter, and Amazon, according to Insider, have sponsored roughly 45,000 H-1B visa holders over the course of the last three years.

However, with the massive tech layoffs, all of these hopeful individuals are clamoring to secure new positions in fear they may be deported back home, These folks usually only have 60 days from termination to find a new position. It sounds easy, as there are still tech jobs despite the layoff epidemic, but it’s not that simple. If someone is on an H-1B visa, the company that hired them is ‘sponsoring’ them. To get a new position means that they would need a new sponsor and companies aren’t quick to make those decisions.

Sponsoring someone means also taking shared responsibility if they have any problems here in the U.S. Companies like Meta and Google can afford those kinds of responsibilities while smaller tech companies or start-ups may not want to take that risk. This leaves visa holders out to dry and leaves them looking at other nations to move to.

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If we lose these talented minds to other countries we would quickly see the U.S. no longer be the hub of knowledge and technology. Already, India is matching technological advances without the same political and financial strains as our country. It looks appealing to many who wish to continue in tech, and so does Canada, Korea, and Europe.

People come to this country on an H-1B visa for many reasons: to send money back home, for knowledge gain, or simply because they feel like it. With the changes in job security, those same individuals are now in a very tight spot.

Do they try to stick around in hopes they get another position that will sponsor them? Or do they pack up the life they have come to know and love and take their talents to another country?

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A native New Englander who migrated to Austin on a whim, Stephanie Dominique is a freelance copywriter, novelist, and certificate enthusiast. When she's not getting howled at by two dachshunds or inhaling enough sugar to put a giant into shock, she is reading, cooking or writing about her passions.

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