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Tech Layoff Lawyer & Tech Termination Attorney for Immigration Status Preservation and Adjustments for H1 B, EB 1, and EB 2 Visa Holders

If you’re working in the United States on a work-sponsored visa (such as an H1-B, L-1, O-1 visa) in the tech sector and were just laid off, you’re likely wondering how the layoff will impact your ability to remain and work in the United States.  An immigration attorney can help you understand the rights and options that you may have, and what steps you may need to take under your current visa (as well as the associated deadlines).

If you are a foreign worker and were just terminated, we invite you to call our immigration tech lawyers to learn about your options.  It is critical to learn about these options as soon as possible, as under many visas there will only be a limited time period during which action must be taken to remain and work in the US.

Call today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your immigration rights and options.

Which Leading Tech Companies Have Been Affected by the 2022 Massive Technology Layoffs?

Technology companies have been hit hard during the latter part of 2022, with worldwide economic uncertainty slowing growth and leading to massive layoffs affecting over 182,605 workers.  Substantial additional tech layoffs are also predicted in 2023 due to the forecasted recession.  Tech layoffs have affected a number of large US companies, including:[1]

  • Amazon
  • Asana
  • Zendesk
  • Salesforce
  • Meta
  • Twitter
  • Stripe
  • Microsoft
  • F5
  • Oracle
  • Intel’s Habana Labs
  • DocuSign
  • Twilio[2]

The Impact of Tech Layoffs on Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals make up a growing share of the United States’ STEM workforce, accounting for nearly one-fourth of tech workers.[3] As layoffs within the technology sector continue, a significant number of visa holders are facing uncertainty and adversity, including potential deportation, after being laid off from big tech corporations, including Amazon, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Twitter.[4]

While some businesses, including Meta, have announced immigration assistance for foreign nationals who they have laid off, many other companies have not offered such resources, leaving international workers scrambling to find ways to protect their current living situations and legal statuses.

If you were laid off from a tech company and are concerned about how it may affect your existing visa and legal rights, we invite you to call Karr Tuttle Campbell to schedule a consultation with an experienced Seattle immigration attorney. After learning about your circumstances, we can discuss your legal options and zealously advocate for the best possible outcome.

Which Type of Visa May Be Affected by the 2022 – 2023 Tech Company Layoffs?

Over the past decade of growth, many tech companies went on sizable hiring sprees. Facing domestic talent pool shortages, a number of employers turned to foreign workers to fill the gaps.

Now, as the global economy pulls back, technology companies have implemented plans to decrease risk, resulting in widespread layoffs. It is estimated that up to 15% of the total laid-off employees are H-1B visa holders or the recipients of other work-based visas.  For these foreign workers, timing is critical, as they may only have sixty days to find employment (beginning on the date of an employee’s final pay stub), or they must return to their countries of origin.

How Can Being Laid Off from A Technology Company Affect an H-1B, L-1, or O-1Visa?

Under  visa categories such as H-1B, L-1 or O-1, a United States employer can temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, including certain tech positions.  When a sponsoring business lays off a worker who is an H-1B, L-1 or O-1 visa holder, the worker must find a new sponsor within the 60 days of “Grace Period” offered by law.

If you fail to find an alternate employer and that employer fails to file a petition to transfer the H-1B or O-1 within the 60 days Grace Period, the employee and any dependents will need to either leave the US or try and move to an alternate temporary visa status.

What Should I Do If My Immigration Status is in Jeopardy Because I Was Impacted by the recent Tech Layoffs?

The first thing that you should do is to contact an experienced tech immigration lawyer, such as those in our immigration practice group at Karr Tuttle Campbell.

If you were laid off from a job within the technology sector and are concerned about your visa status, there are several steps that might be available to potentially avoid deportation, including:

  • Seek employment at other technology companies,
  • If you find a new position, ensure the company files an LCA and an H-1B,
  • Consider applying for an O-1 visa for “extraordinary ability,”
  • Consider being financially dependent on a spouse to extend the timeline,
  • Consider taking classes to obtain an F-1 student visa, or
  • Transition to a B1 visitor visa to extend your time.

Before taking any of these actions, it is critical to speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can help explain the best possible options for your unique situation. There are serious ramifications that may be associated with changing a visa path or taking other actions which can affect both the ability to remain in the US and to continued or new employment.  Additionally, because there are time considerations and deadlines that may be applicable, it also will be critical to obtain the counsel of an experienced business immigration lawyer as soon as possible.

Call Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Immigration Lawyer to Learn About Your Visa Options if You Have (or May Be) Terminated from Your Current Position.

[1] Tech layoffs in 2022: A timeline, Computerworld, https://www.computerworld.com/article/3679733/tech-layoffs-in-2022-a-timeline.html#:~:text=Tech%20layoffs%20in%202022%3A%20A%20timeline%201%20November,3%20September%202022%20DocuSign%3A%20Sept.%2028%E2%80%94670%20people%20.

[2] Id.

[3] Foreign-born STEM Workers in the United States, American Immigration Council, https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/foreign-born-stem-workers-united-states.

[4] Amazon layoff: Indiana in US, Canada living on work visa in troubled waters, Mint, Amazon layoff: Indians in US, Canada living on work visa in troubled waters | Mint (livemint.com).