Twitter dismisses a cause of concern for H-1B visa holders: report

The massive layoffs at Twitter have created pressure on employees working on H-1B visas.

Twitter’s mass layoffs had put a lot of pressure on employees who worked as foreign nationals in the United States, especially for H-1B visa holders, according to a report in Forbes. By existing standards, they are now within 60 days and their immigration status is at risk. Finding new employment for these terminated employees, who are in the country while holding an H-1B, is extremely important to maintaining their immigration status, the outlet added.

H-1B visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow foreign workers in skilled occupations to reside and work in the United States for a limited period of time. To qualify for such a visa, a foreign worker must be sponsored by an employer in the United States. Interestingly, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk also came to the US on an H-1B visa years ago to work, according to the Forbes report.

The outlet said there were about 625 to 670 Twitter employees in H-1B status, or about 8% of the company’s 7,500 employees, based on analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data. With the mass layoffs happening on the microblogging platform, it’s unclear how many foreign nationals have been laid off.

Read also : Restart, then blank screen: How Twitter staff learned he was fired

What this means for employees:

Foreign nationals in the United States work on H-1B, L-1, or O-1 visas. All of these come with a different set of rules. It should be noted that the USCIS regulations of the year 2017 grant H-1B visa holders a “grace period” of 60 days after termination.

Kevin Miner, a Fragomen partner, told Forbes, “Once employment is terminated, an H-1B visa holder enters a 60-day grace period during which they must leave the United States, apply for a change in status or having a different employer file an H-1B petition or other immigration petition on their behalf,”

He added that if the above is not done, the person is considered to be in violation of their immigration status. Mr. Miner further stated that “H-1B workers benefit from the fact that they have already been counted towards the annual H-1B quota, so it is a little easier for another employer to sponsor them. Employees who hold other types of immigration status, such as an L-1 intra-corporate transfer visa often has a harder time managing their immigration status than someone who has H-1B status because they are an little easier for another employer to file a claim for him in a short period of time.”

What this means for employers:

Employers are required to notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services when there has been a “material change” to the terms and conditions of an approved H-1B petition, such as when the employment of an H-1B employee has been terminated.

According to the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Your employer will be responsible for the reasonable costs of your return transportation if they terminate your employment before the end of your period of authorized stay. Your employer is not responsible for the cost of your return transportation if you voluntarily resign from your position.”

She adds that the employer pays the H-1B worker a salary that is not less than the salary paid to workers with similar qualifications.

Mr Miner said in an interview with Forbes: “It is particularly important for employers to ensure that these requirements are met, as they can be subject to significant fines and back pay if this is not In addition, dismissals that result from a layoff can sometimes cause a terminated employee to be unhappy with their former employer and therefore more likely to file a complaint with the government regarding immigration compliance.

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