In accordance with layoffs.fyi, greater than 23,000 tech employees have been laid off up to now this month. For comparability, the positioning tracked 12,463 layoffs in October.

Fb’s dad or mum firm Meta introduced the primary main job cuts in its historical past this week, eliminating 11,000 jobs. Like Twitter, Stripe, Brex, Lyft, Netflix and different tech companies primarily based within the Bay Space, lots of the workers impacted are immigrants on employee visas.

An surprising layoff introduces a component of chaos into anybody’s life, however when an H-1B employee loses their job, a loud clock begins clicking: until they will land a brand new place or change their immigration standing inside 60 days, they’re required to depart the nation.

And since tech corporations at each dimension are enacting hiring freezes and planning extra cuts, their capacity to stay and work within the U.S. is out of the blue in query.

Earlier at this time, I hosted a Q&A for international tech employees who’ve been laid off (or assume they is likely to be) with Silicon Valley-based immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn.

Alcorn, who writes “Pricey Sophie,” a weekly recommendation column for TechCrunch+, shared normal data for visa employees and hiring managers who’re in search of expertise. When you’re a visa holder who’s been laid off, your first precedence is to “discover a lawyer and work out your final day of employment, as a result of that’s when that you must begin counting the 60-day grace interval,” mentioned Alcorn.

“You both get a brand new job, you permit, or you determine another strategy to legally keep in america, however you need to take some motion inside these 60 days.” Begin wanting now for brand spanking new alternatives, she suggested, as it can take a brand new employer time to submit paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers.

“The most effective-case state of affairs could be that this new firm recordsdata your new change of employer petition and USCIS receives the paperwork on or earlier than the 59th day since your final day of employment,” mentioned Alcorn.

“It takes a minimum of three weeks to organize the whole lot,” which suggests candidates and employers should transfer rapidly as the times rely down. “You in all probability want a signed provide round day 33,” she mentioned.

Based mostly on her expertise, Alcorn estimated that 15% of the individuals laid off from Bay Space startups are immigrants, 90% of that are H-1B holders. Beneath, you’ll discover solutions to a number of of the questions we obtained [edited for space and clarity].

I used to be laid off whereas I used to be overseas, however my lawyer suggested me to journey again on ESTA, which I did. Does the 60-day grace interval nonetheless apply?

Sophie Alcorn: When you’re in america on ESTA after being laid off whereas overseas, you’re not in H-1B standing anymore. It’s essential to go away the nation to get a brand new H-1B and attempt to come again in and begin working.

You don’t have the 60-day grace interval anymore; you’ve deserted it. The one factor you are able to do to vary or lengthen your standing if you happen to’re in america on the Visa Waiver Program for 90 days on ESTA is get married to a U.S. citizen and have them sponsor you for a inexperienced card.

It must be an actual, good-faith marriage. It’s important to intend to share a life collectively, you need to exhibit that your households know one another, that you just do romantic comedy issues collectively and have the images to show it. And the federal government’s going to examine in two years to see if you happen to’re nonetheless married.

I’m at the moment on an OPT and have an H-1B accepted, however not activated. Can I alter employers with out going by way of the lottery straight away? Or would my H-1B should be activated first?

You possibly can really change employers with out [doing so]. Whenever you’re interviewing for jobs, that you must make it very clear to the HR particular person that you just assume you’re eligible for an H-1B change of employer, and you actually need their immigration attorneys to take a detailed look, as a result of basically, what you will want is a change of standing from F-1 or OPT to H-1B inside america, in addition to a change of employer.

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