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Asian Tech Workers Caught in the Middle as US Companies Continue Layoffs

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

It has not been a good year for the technology industry as many US-based companies have been carrying out major layoffs, affecting the livelihood of thousands of people. Those from countries outside the US, like India and Pakistan, are massively impacted by the turn of events.

Those who are outside of the US, especially those from the Asian continent, are living in the US thanks to their work visa. Staying without work in the US means their visa will now be invalid. 

Twitter had one of the worst employee layoffs this year, cutting almost 75% of its employees after Elon Musk took over the social media platform. Tech jobs in the US are also very low as many companies are closing their doors to employment. Accompanied by serious economic problems worldwide, it is very hard to find a tech job. 

Sujatha Krishnaswamy, an information technology specialist living in the US, spoke on how she was caught up in the consistent layoffs in the country. She was working with Twitter when Elon Musk took over and made several changes that raised some controversies. He was even accused of removing the human rights department of the social media platform.

Sujatha Krishnaswamy said she would have loved to continue working at the social media platform, but Elon Musk wasn't having any of it. 

Twitter isn't The Only Tech Company Laying off Employees 

Tech layoffs in 2022 are happening across several companies, not just Twitter. Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft have engaged in a series of layoffs, leaving many Asians without work in the US unemployed.

Earlier, HP announced plans to cut about 4,000 to 6,000 jobs for three years starting in 2022. They blamed the poor sales of personal computers. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said they would be cutting 11 thousand staff from their workforce. This was one of the biggest tech layoffs in 2022. 

According to data from the US layoff tracker, about 46,000 tech jobs in the US were cut off just in November, and there's more to come as economic issues are not supporting over-staffing in any company. Another data provided by CNBC showed that tech layoffs in 2022 have reached about 81,000. 

While the data shown by numerous platforms may seem big, the job cuts this year are one of the lowest since Challenger, Gray & Christmas started tracking job cuts in the US. 

"When we’re looking at layoffs across the board, while we have seen an uptick from the historic low layoffs we’ve been in at the last two years, we’re not seeing huge mass layoff activity," Challenger, Gray & Christmas senior vice president Andrew Challenger said. 

Many Have Been Caught in the Visa Trap

Asian workers in the US - Credit: Maskot/Getty Images

Several foreigners, especially those from Asia, have been caught in the Visa trap as many live in the US on H-1B Visas. So losing their jobs due to the massive tech layoffs will threaten true residential status in the United States. 

With the H-1B visa, those affected by the massive layoff have about 60 days to look for a new job, or they will leave the country with immediate effect. With the tight budgets of tech companies, it will be very hard for those affected to get a job as soon as possible. 

Lawyers in the US are surprised by the numerous people asking for their advice due to the layoffs that have affected their jobs. "Many of them are from India and other countries in Asia," Mahir Nasir, a New York-based lawyer, said.