Nearshore Americas

H-1B Workers Managed to Endure Tech’s Mass Layoffs

Holders of H-1B visas, which allow skilled foreign workers to live and work in the US, have remained in great demand, with the majority of holders regaining the job positions lost during the height of the firing frenzy last year.

In the first two months of 2023, up to 71% of US businesses hired foreign workers, according to Envoy Global’s annual survey.

For tech professionals, 2022 was a nightmare as 78% of US businesses froze hiring and 51% fired H-1B visa holders.

Many tech start-ups felt abandoned by their financial backers (mostly venture capitalists), who saw their cash dry up in the wake of  a series of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in response to soaring inflation.

Soon, a wave of layoffs hit Silicon Valley, forcing even large tech firms to fire employees by the thousands.

The firing frenzy left many H-1B workers jobless, but some foreign nationals managed to cling on, as their bosses urged them to return to their home country and work remotely.

According to Envoy Global’s report, 81% of companies transferred foreign national employees to an office abroad or asked them to work remotely.

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The mass layoffs are fueling both offshoring and nearshoring, the report states, citing some HR officials who chose to outsource after failing to obtain work visas for their foreign employees.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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