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Twitter job cuts become double whammy for H1B visa holders. What’s next for them


The mass firing at Twitter has acted as a double whammy for some foreign nationals working in the US office as losing their jobs has put their immigration status under threat. Most of them, who are in the country with H-1B, L-1 and O-1 visas, are on a desperate job hunt as in the next few days, they will either have to find another company to sponsor them or leave the United States.

Forbes cited, close to 700 employees working at Twitter have H-1B status, which is 8% of the company’s 7,500 employees. And it is still not known exactly how many foreign nationals have been sacked. 

Poorvi Chothani, Managing Partner at LawQuest told Economic Times, “While H-1B visa holders have a 60-day grace period, it’s much more difficult for workers on L-1 and O-1 visas. They may have to leave soon after their employment is terminated, except in rare circumstances.”

What can happen to H-1B visa holders?

Now, H-1B visa holders, who have been laid off, typically have 60 days grace period to file an H-1B through another employer.

One thing that can work for H-1B workers is the fact that they have already been counted against the annual H-1B quota, it won’t be extremely difficult for them to find another job. But, they need to submit the  petition by a new employer before completion of 60 days

Chothani adds, “If an H-1B worker has not been counted in the visa cap in the past 6 years, and finds a new job only after returning to their home country, they will have to re-enter the lottery pool.”

They can return to the US and work for the remainder of their H-1B tenure.

What happens to L-1 visa holders?

L-1 is an intracompany transfer visa and an individual with L-1 status land in a much more difficult position in case they have been laid off but still want to stay in the US. Once they are terminated, they must leave the country and cannot be transferred to a new employer

Is there a temporary solution?

If the laid-off employee cannot find a job within 60 days, they can switch to B-2 (tourist visa) or go back to school to get a F-1 status. Though this is a temporary solution, it will buy them some time. 

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