(KRON) – Many tech workers recently laid off came from other countries and were on H-1B visas, requiring them to have a job to be here. But now many without a job are at risk of losing that visa, and they are turning to immigration lawyers for refuge.
Attorney Ellen Krengel says she’s had an increase in consultations. Foreign tech workers are scrambling, trying to figure out their options on how to stay in the U.S. after being laid off.
“It’s incredibly disruptive to people’s lives, and especially if there is a family with children in the schools,” Krengel said.
Krengel says a tech worker on an H-1B visa has 60 days to find another job or go home. In the Bay Area, many Indians are on H-1B visas, and there are not a lot of other options to help someone extend their stay.
“Sometimes we can offer go back to school, but not everyone wants to go back to school,” Krengel explained.
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Krengel says there could be one upside for smaller tech firms who couldn’t “play ball” with big firms in terms of benefits. Someone laid off from a giant tech company like Meta, Amazon, or Google may now be willing to join a smaller firm… just for a visa to stay in the U.S.