HYDERABAD: With large-scale layoffs in the United States of America hitting the immigrant professional class hardest, including those from Telugu states, there is a growing movement online, calling for grace period extensions for job holders of H1B visa.
Currently, the regulation grants this section of visa holders a 60-day grace period. But with companies asking their staff to leave almost immediately after being made redundant, many are now urging authorities to extend this period by up to six months or more.

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“We need the H1B grace period to be extended from the current 60 days as there is a long delay in processing the work. If it is not improved, it will cause so much trouble for me and my family,” wrote Santosh C, by responding to an online petition filed on this issue. The petition gathered more than 2,500 signatures just hours after it was launched.
“I have seen close people go through a layoff and know how difficult it is for them to find a job file on H1B right now. The grace period should be extended,” he wrote. Roshni Gaddan on the petition.
Professionals TOI reached out to said that mostly those with software development jobs were eliminated, although some in other verticals were also affected.
“While it wasn’t as bad as the tech industry, the financial sector did layoffs as well… More than performance, terminations are decided based on how critical a vertical is to the business,” said a senior banker of AP that has been based in Missouri for decades now. “There’s also a hiring freeze, which has exacerbated the layoff problem,” said a Hyderabad technician who lives in Kansas. But despite the current turmoil, senior leaders back home don’t expect many to return to India. According to them, there is still a pool of opportunities available in the US for qualified professionals.
“If people are willing to cut their profile and pay a little bit, at least for now, it won’t be hard to get opportunities in the US,” he said. Bharani Arollmanaging director of TechTriad Inc which has operations in the United States. According to him, while the first quarter of 2023 might be tough, things will surely ease up after that.

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