In the week after Twitter was taken over by billionaire Elon Musk, thousands of people there lost their jobs. People affected by the layoffs received emails from the organization, but the termination letter and the employee’s last day at the company have not yet been issued. It’s been reported that people who are being laid off will continue to work for Twitter and get pay and benefits up until the first week of January 2023. Although the termination day for employees may vary.
Employees from almost every marketplace, including India, were laid off by Twitter. 90 per cent of the company’s 200-person workforce in India are alleged to have been let go. Most of those affected are foreign nationals with H1B visas in the United States, many of whom are Indians, even though all affected employees are going through a difficult time and seeking new jobs as they share their stories via social media. Many H1B visa holders have discussed the 60-day window they have to obtain employment on social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.
Using the H1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa, US-based businesses can hire foreign employees for a set length of time—typically three to six years. The affected Twitter employees in this instance, many of whom are H1B visa holders, will need to find employment within 60 days after receiving their termination notice. No letter of termination has yet been sent by Twitter. Only emails have been sent to employees informing them of their status about the layoffs.
Therefore, in order to continue living in the United States, all H1B visa holders who lost their jobs must find new employment within two months. Additionally, if the visa holders are unable to find employment, they will be required to return to their home country; in this scenario, Twitter will be responsible for covering the cost of the return airfare.
Many Indians are among those who possess these visas. Some of them have used LinkedIn and Twitter to express their plight and request assistance in finding work as soon as possible. One of the afflicted Twitter workers, Ruchita Pereira, a former software engineer in Test 2 at Twitter, claimed on LinkedIn to be one of the affected individuals.
She said, “Twitter employees have limited time to find a job. Unfortunately, I was among the 50% of employees who were affected due to layoffs at Twitter. I am currently on an H1B visa and have limited time to find another opportunity”.
“Unfortunately, I was part of the layoffs at Twitter,” said Sushmitha S Nataraj, another affected worker and a former software engineer at the company.
She added, “While I am heartbroken for what happened to me and so many other fellow #tweeps, I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such talented people. I am on an H1B visa, so I have around 60 days to find a new role.”
Many H1B visa holders, particularly Indians, worry about being deported from the US because of the current state of the tech industry. A difficult time is currently affecting the IT sector, making it challenging to get employment.
This is especially true given that the majority of the top-tier, Fortune 500 tech businesses, including Apple and Amazon, have temporarily stopped hiring. A portion of the workforce has been let go by businesses like Netflix, Apple, and many others, which has caused a decline in revenue.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, announced the layoffs of 11,000 employees, or 13% of the company’s workforce, shortly after Twitter. Worldwide employees are being impacted by the employment reduction at Meta. In India, this indicates that Meta is dismissing certain staff. The number of affected individuals in India is yet unknown, though.
Meta appears to be taking a little more systematic approach to layoffs, and it has declared that, in addition to severance money, health insurance benefits, and other amenities, it would also provide immigration help.
Zuckerberg in an official blog post stated, “I know this is especially difficult if you’re here on a visa. There’s a notice period before termination and some visa grace periods, which means everyone will have time to make plans and work through their immigration status. We have dedicated immigration specialists to help guide you based on what you and your family need”.