In recent times, thousands of Indian IT professionals in the US, have lost their jobs due to the series of recent layoffs at companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
These people are now struggling to find new employment within the stipulated period under their work visas following the termination of their employment to stay in the country.
Struggling IT Professionals
Around 200,000 IT workers have been laid off since November last year, including some record numbers in companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon, as per the media report.
According to some industry insiders, between 30 to 40 percent of them are Indian IT professionals.
This seems to be a significant number of whom are on H-1B and L1 visas.
As we know, the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
This helps the technology companies to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
Finding Job Is Great Challenge
When it comes to L-1A and L-1B visas, they are available for temporary intracompany transferees who work in managerial positions or have specialized knowledge.
For those on H-1B visas, the situation is getting worse as they have to find a new job within 60 days or else, they would be left with no other option but to head back to India.
But getting a job under current circumstances, when all IT companies are on a firing spree that too in a short period, feels next to impossible.
Another IT professional on an H-1B visa who got laid off from Microsoft on January 18 said “This situation is really hard on us,” being a single mother.
That too at a time when her son is in High School Junior year, preparing for getting into college.
Efforts by FIIDS
In order to help these IT professionals, Global Indian Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO) and Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) launched a community-wide effort on Sunday.
They will try and help these IT professionals by connecting job seekers to job referrers and informers.
In the meantime, the FIIDS will work on efforts to influence policymakers and decision-makers of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Khande Rao Kand from FIIDS said, ”With massive layoffs in the tech industry, January 2023 has been brutal for tech professionals. Many talented folks lost their jobs. As the tech industry is dominated by Indian immigrants, they are the highest to get impacted,”.
Further adding, “This has a huge disruption on the family lives and children’s education etc on this tax-paying and contributing legal immigrant.”
Need Of Redesigning The Process
It would be beneficial for the immigration process to be redesigned to better support H-1B workers and retain highly skilled talent in the US.
During such times of distress, the fired Indian IT workers have formed various WhatsApp groups to find ways to have a solution to the terrible situation they are in.