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Laid-Off Foreign Tech Workers Could Lose Right to Remain in U.S.

Nov 9, 2022

Twitter, Meta, and other tech giants have laid off thousands of employees in recent weeks, jeopardizing the legal right of foreign workers to remain in the United States.

Tech firms rely heavily on foreign employees, typically bringing them to the country on H-1B visas, a type of work visa that allows U.S. companies to employ immigrants in speciality occupations.

When an employee on an H-1B visa is laid off, they have 60 days to either leave the U.S. and return to their home country, find a different company to sponsor them for an H-1B visa, or change their status to a different visa.

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At Twitter, up to 670 of its employees, or 8% of the company’s 7,500 workers, are employed on an H-1B visa. Elon Musk, who recently took control of Twitter, himself came to the U.S. as an international student before switching to an H-1B visa.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged in a statement that the layoffs were “especially difficult” for those on work visas.

“There’s a notice period before termination and some visa grace periods, which means everyone will have time to make plans and work through their immigration status,” Zuckerberg said. “We have dedicated immigration specialists to help guide you based on what you and your family need.”

If you or your family have been affected by layoffs, Boundless put together a detailed guide on what to do if you lose your job while on a work visa.

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