H-1B New Regulations and Layoffs

H-1B New Regulations and Layoffs

Being in H-1B status and having peace of mind are two things that do not co-exist with each other. USCIS is soon going to publish new rules for H-1B visa holders.

One of the newly proposed USCIS rule states that business administration is a “general degree” and is insufficient to qualify for a specialty occupation “without further specialization.” That could prevent foreign nationals with a master’s in business administration or other non-computer science degrees from getting H-1B approval for new petitions as well as H-1B extensions.

It is wise for H-1B visa holders with these degrees to join an online master’s degree in computer science or computer engineering or information systems from an accredited university.

Tech companies are intensifying layoffs as they get ready to publish Q2 earnings to their shareholders. Government grants from the covid pandemic have evaporated and tech companies are now facing severe revenue dips.

As tech companies find it difficult to generate revenue, they find it easier to cut expenses via employee layoffs. A layoff of 2 to 3 employees can also affect the ability of a tech company to file perm(labor) for 180 days according to Department of Labor rules.

When an employee in H-1B status is laid off there are many other things to consider. The first and foremost issue is the grace period. H-1B employees have 60 days to find another employer who is willing to file a H-1B petition on their behalf.

The second issue is the green card process. If an employee is laid off in the fifth or sixth year of their H-1B period they need to find an employer who is willing to file Perm (labor) immediately.

It takes around 3 months to do Pre-Perm paperwork and another 4 months for Perm to be approved. It takes another 4 months for i-140 to be approved. A one-year timeline is required for both Perm and i-140 to be approved. Then the employee in H-1B status can have unlimited 3-year extensions. If the Perm and i-140 are not filed in a timely manner the employee will not able to get an extension beyond 6 years.

If an employee is laid off while the Perm is pending, then the priority date cannot be retained or ported to another employer. If an employee is laid off while the i-140 is pending, then it depends on whether the employer will withdraw the H-1B petition immediately or not. If the ex-employer does not withdraw the pending i-140 petition there is a good chance that the i-140 petition will be approved without an RFE and the priority date can be retained.

This is a sponsored article. We are actively recruiting .net, java, python developers, data engineers, cloud and AI specialists. US Citizens, Permanent Residents, and individuals authorized by US immigration law are encouraged to apply. H-1B transfers and H-1B layoffs are also welcomed. Please submit your resume to [email protected].

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