Tech firms sponsored 45,000 H-1B workers in the past 3 years, report says. Many are now laid-off and struggling to stay in the US.

Man with blue umbrella with back against Meta logo.
Man with blue umbrella with back against Meta logo.  
  • Major tech firms sponsored 45,000 H-1B workers in the past three years, Bloomberg reported.

  • At least 350 immigrants were affected by Meta and Twitter's latest job cuts.

  • Some H-1B workers are staying at Twitter out of fear of being "forced out of the country," per CNN.

Many H-1B workers sponsored by big tech firms in the past three years have since been laid off, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Major tech firms including Amazon, Lyft, Meta, Twitter, Salesforce, and Stripe sponsored at least 45,000 H-1B workers over the past three years, Bloomberg found through analysis of data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Meta and Twitter's latest layoffs affected around 350 immigrants, Bloomberg said.

A H-1B is a temporary visa that allows companies to hire foreign professionals to "perform services in a specialty occupation," per USCIS. The US allows 65,000 H-1B workers per year who are permitted to stay between three to six years.

If they lose their job, they have 60 days to find a new one and remain in the country, or return home.

Tech firms rely heavily on the H-1B program to bring in engineering talent from around the world to maintain a competitive edge in a fast-moving industry.

But as layoffs sweep tech firms across the US, workers who initially came to the country on the H-1B program in recent years, are now facing uncertainty. Many have been laid off and have to worry about children, mortgages, student loans, and other bills as well as the looming 60-day deadline for finding a new job in a highly competitive market.

USCIS did not immediately respond to a request for comment about H-1B workers being laid off by tech firms, made outside normal working hours.

Twitter employed as many as 700 H-1B employees before Elon Musk's layoffs. One former Twitter employee told CNN that many H-1B workers are staying on at the social media giant despite Musk's policies because they're "concerned with being forced into a flooded job market where they may be unable to find a job and before being forced out of the country."

One former Meta employee and H-1B holder of 15 years from India told Bloomberg that he had bought a house in Seattle last year when he started his role at Meta. Almost a year later, he's been laid off and is searching for a technical role so he can stay in the US with his two children.

"You have to spend months preparing for some of these jobs," he told Bloomberg over the phone. "It's hard to tell yourself that even after 15 years being properly documented you still might not have a way to stay. The path to residency is broken."


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