Silicon Valley Lawmakers Urge USCIS to Let Laid-off H-1B Holders Stay Back


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Apr 14, 2023 01:22 PM IST

As more and more H-1B holders still get laid off in the USA, lawmakers from Silicon Valley have urged the USCIS to extend the 60-day grace period and offer information pertaining to the impact of the layoffs and other vital information that could help the H-1B holders to make an informed decision, regarding their visa statuses.

Silicon Valley Lawmakers Urge USCIS to Let Laid-off H-1B Holders Stay Back

Another group of lawmakers, this time from Silicon Valley, have yet again spoken out their concerns regarding the large-scale lay-offs that took place in the tech industry. The lawmakers have urged the USCIS to permit the laid-off H-1B immigrants to stay back in the country even after losing their jobs.

Addressing the letter to Director UR Jaddou, the lawmakers highlighted that the laid-off immigrants hold highly valuable skills in today’s knowledge-based economy. Therefore, “forcing them to leave the US is harmful” to the long-term economic competitiveness of the country, added the lawmakers.

Citing the utmost importance of the issue to those affected, the letter also highlighted the number of layoffs that have happened in 2023. As per reports, the number of lay-offs in 2023 has surpassed 2022 numbers. The letter had been submitted by lawmakers Congressmen Ro Khanna, Kevin Mullin, Zoe Lofgren and Jimmy Panetta.

Also Read: Here’s What Laid Off H-1B Workers Can Do to Extend the Grace Period: USCIS

In addition to the challenges faced by the laid-off H-1B holders, the letter also urges USCIS to offer information about the impact of the layoffs on the immigrants, while also urging the USCIS to conduct an investigation regarding any possible solution or instructions to the decision-makers about the layoffs. Additionally, the letter also urged the USCIS to extend the 60-day grace period to the H-1B holders who were laid off to allow them more time to find a new job before having their legal status revoked.

As a non-immigrant visa, any foreign national wishing to work in the US must possess a valid H-1B visa to stay in the country as well as work. Understanding the difficulties of the professional world, the H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to remain in the country for 2 months after being laid off, to find a new job or change their visa statuses to stay back in the country legally.

Also Read: Hike in USA Student Visa Fees Affects Indian Students

The letter claims to use the information to clearly understand the impact of the layoffs. Information pertaining to the approval and denial rates, which were further broken down by visa category of the laid-off H-1B holders was requested in the letter. It further stated that the information should be made public to allow the H-1B holders to make an informed decision.

In addition to this, the letter also requested information about the processing time for the applications that have been submitted by newly unemployed H-1B visa holders. It stated that while individuals are permitted to stay back in the US, the lawmakers had doubts regarding the consequences of the processing times exceeding the 60-day grace period.

Source: Livemint

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