Indian work visa holders say no one knows the trauma of losing a job while on H-1B
While tech experts feared the post-Covid job fall-out situation, perhaps nobody guessed it would hit the industry so bad. Big tech companies in the US like Amazon and Facebook, that went on an overdrive due to pandemic induced increase in demand, are now on a lay-off spree.
More than 200,000 people are estimated to have lost jobs since last November. Google reportedly let-go of 12,000 employees across the globe. With Amazon announcing 18,000 job cuts, Meta slashing 11,000 positions and Microsoft announcing 10,000 job cuts, the situation continues to look even more grim in the days to come.
Read: Amid job cuts, does an H-1B visa still hold its charm? (January 23, 2023)
President Joe Biden “understands first-hand how the impact of losing a job can be on family. He understands that very personally,” White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday in response to a question about tech industry lay-offs.
However, those who have been affected by the job cuts, and especially the Indian work visa holders share the sentiment that no one actually understands the trauma they have to undergo in an event of a job loss.
Some Indians who got laid-off while on H-1B visa share with the American Bazaar, the predicament they find themselves in.
“I lost my job today. For me the clock has started ticking as the 60-day period starts from today itself,” said Jaya Shankar. “I do not have an approved I-140, (employment based green-card application).”
“I have to somehow contain my emotions and consult a lawyer to ask if I can have the option of transferring my visa to H-4 to continue to be in the US. I am puzzled if I should use this limited time in job hunting or legal consultation,” he says.
Read: Indian Americans start “Laid off-Jobhunt” chat groups (January 26, 2023)
Another professional laid off by Amazon told the American Bazaar on condition of anonymity, “I was laid-off from Amazon last week. It was a turmoil. I have worked on a mid-senior level and am currently posting everywhere possible to see any leads.”
“I am the single-earning member of my family and in case nothing works out in 30 days, I will be forced to sell my furniture, my car, all my belongings and head back.”
A MAANG company employee, Vinod N. says, “I am a victim of mass lay-off. I have worked with this company for 12 long years and I have been a good performer. I am at a senior tech level but suddenly with the job gone, I am having to prove my credentials all over again.”
“I feel it is unfair that there are some assumptions that only those who were not performing well have been laid off,” he says. “This job cut Is real and from a senior tech position who got promotions throughout their career you can be reduced to a laid-off employee another day.”
Read: Tech layoffs send visa holders on frantic search for employment to avoid deportation (December 2, 2022)
Another employee with a multinational who lost their job early this week and has not yet disclosed it to their kids shares, “I am scared to tell my kid that I was laid off this week and have just 60 days to find another job.
“I recently bought a house. We thought it would be our home, but now it all seems surreal. I can’t just tell my kid that she may have to stop her school and shift to India. I don’t have a job waiting for me in India. So, the question remains, what do we do even when we go back from America.”
Read: Indian government asked to help laid off Indians (January 24, 2023)
Read: Indian techies prepare for worst amid lay-off spree (January 10, 2023)
Read: In holiday season carnage, tech sector shed more than 50,000 jobs in November (December 29, 2022)
Read: How workers can stay in the US after losing jobs (December 20, 2022)