‘I’m always scared of what’s going to happen’

Mayur Oza, technical program director at Google, so surprise by the email he received on Friday saying he had just been fired as part of a massive bloodshed 12,000 workers.

But since he was from India and was on an H-1B work visa, he realized there was a “need to act quickly”. If he does not find a new job within 60 days, his visa will expire and he will have to leave the country.

“Being on H-1B, I was always afraid of what would happen in the future,” Oza said.

Image of Mayur Oza's laptop and badge.


Massive job cuts in the high-tech industry in recent months have sent foreign workers into a frenzy on the hunt for new jobs. From the end of 2022, Amazon, Microsoftand Facebook parent company Meta have all cut thousands of jobs to cut costs.

Just for the first few weeks of 2023, at least 174 technology companies canceled nearly 60,000 jobs. Among the casualties were foreign workers with H-1B visas, which allow them to work for US-based employers for long periods of time. first three yearswith an option for an extension.

If they lose their jobs and want to stay in the US legally, they have to scramble to find new jobs. The search comes with a lot of stress and often fear.

Tahmina Watson, an immigration attorney, said: “The scale of the layoffs was so great that I had never seen it before. the New York Times in December about recent layoffs and consequences for H-1B workers.

“Tech companies are not only laying off employees in unprecedented numbers, but they are implementing a hiring freeze and as a result, there is likely to be very little replacement for workers,” she said. immigration”.

U.S. employers typically sponsor H-1B visas for “skilled foreign professionals,” and computer-related jobs make up 70% of approved H-1Bs. according to country data. The number of H-1Bs offered each year is capped at 65,000, reached fairly early in 2022, the report says.

Former Google product manager Mojia Shen wrote on LinkedIn that she was on “tight time to secure employment” for her H-1B following her layoff. She was recently promoted, so she said she was “incredible” about losing her position. Now she has to find a new job by the third week of March.

Some Googlers didn’t notice the upcoming layoffs and woke up on a Friday like every other day. When they can’t log into the company’s system or access their email and other accountsMany people know what is to come.

Nilanjan Mandal, an Indian citizen, moved to the US last year to take on a new role at Google. He was a global project lead based in San Francisco when he also received an email last week that he had fired.

Mandal can stay at Google until March, after which he has to find another job within 60 days to keep his H-1B. He says the length of the complicated visa process reduces the time he has to find a new role.

“It’s not 60 days that work for anyone,” says Mandal. Asset time he had to find a new job. It takes some time for US Citizenship and Immigration Services to process any new visa requests, he said.

Through online messaging with Asset, Oza mentioned that he’s prepared to apply for a green card in the coming weeks, which could give him more certainty about his future. Green card holders are not dependent on their work to maintain residency in the United States.

“Due to being laid off, I was unable to continue my process and I needed to start a year-long process from scratch,” said Oza, adding that Google had offered to help with the issues. immigration issues and his new job search. Mandal also said he was given the option to speak with immigration experts to assist him on visa-related topics.

Google representative refused luck Request comments.

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