Indian tech professionals pursuing the American dream were suddenly left scrambling for a new job in just a couple of months to avoid being sent back. An Indian-American teenager even ran away from home out of fear that her father would lose his job, forcing her to leave her school and friends in the US. But Indian expats may find relief with a Presidential advisory panel recommending an extension to the 60-day grace period.
Twice the time to find a way out
The sub-committee has pushed for doubling the grace period to 180 days for H-1B visa holders to find a new job in the middle of a hiring freeze.
Thousands with the non-immigrant visa for employees with theoretical and technical knowhow have lost employment as part of the ongoing tech layoffs. Several workers are even exploring entrepreneurship by launching their own venture on an H-1B visa.
Too many challenges not enough time
Advisory commission member Ajay Jain Bhutoria pushed for the extension in his presentation, which also highlighted a restricted time frame for paperwork and transfer of H-1B visa status in a 60-day period.
The proposed reform is meant to make sure that highly skilled employees don't lose out on opportunities in the US after being laid off.
Indian expats to benefit more
Indians who form a bulk of H-1B visa holders in the US tech sector, will benefit from the extension, as they reportedly constitute 40 per cent of laid off professionals.
Lakhs of techies have to wait for weeks before being hired or rejected, since companies conduct as many as five rounds of interviews.
The tech layoffs are relentless as Facebook's parent meta has initiated another round of job cuts and firms still struggle to cut costs.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)