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Google Pauses New Green Card Applications for Foreign Workers

Jan 24, 2023

Google announced last week it was laying off 12,000 employees, becoming the latest tech giant to make massive job cuts. At the same time, the company sent an email to its foreign workers in the U.S. saying it would be pausing applications for permanent labor certification (or PERM), the first step to obtaining an employment-based green card.

Employers who want to sponsor a foreign worker for a green card must first obtain a PERM certification, which shows that no qualified U.S. worker can fill the position. A U.S. company must also file a PERM application to extend a temporary H-1B work visa, the most common visa used by foreign tech workers.

Google reportedly said in the email to foreign staff that mass layoffs across the tech industry made it more difficult for the company to obtain PERM certification.

“With a number of tech companies announcing reductions in their workforce (hiring pauses/layoffs) there has been an increase in people looking for jobs,” the company said. “As a result, we, along with other tech companies, have seen a notable increase in the number of PERM cases audited by the Department of Labor (DOL) for tech roles — which we believe is the result of more talent being available in the U.S. job market.”

Google said the decision would not affect PERM applications that were already submitted, nor would it impact applications for other visa types.

For more info, check out the Boundless guide on the PERM labor certification program.

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