Fearing massive layoffs in America due to the coronavirus crisis that is affecting companies around the world, overseas technology professionals with H-1B visas that are the most popular among Indians have asked the Trump administration for their allowable loss limit Termination of employment extends the United States from the existing 60 to 180 days.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigration visa that US companies can employ to employ foreign workers in special jobs that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies rely on hiring tens of thousands of employees from countries like India and China every year.
Federal law requires an H-1B visa holder to leave the United States with their family members within 60 days of losing their job.
Economic experts fear massive layoffs in various sectors of the American economy due to the current economic plight, which will only worsen in the coming weeks and months.
A record 3.3 million Americans filed their first jobless claims for the week ending March 21.
Although the peak of coronavirus in the United States is about two weeks away, millions of people in the United States have already lost their jobs.
It is estimated that around 47 million people could become unemployed.
People with an H-1B visa are not entitled to unemployment benefits. They are also not entitled to social security benefits, although deductions are made from their salary for this purpose.
Initial reports indicate that a number of H-1B employees will be fired. In some cases, companies have already informed their H-1B employees that they are at the top of the list of layoffs.
For this reason, holders of an H-1B visa have launched a petition campaign on the White House website to extend the deadline for their stay in the United States after their release.
"We urge the government to temporarily extend the 60-day grace period to 180 days and protect H1B workers in these difficult times," the petition said, which has so far attracted more than 20,000 signatures.
At least 100,000 petitions are required to receive a response from the White House.
The COVID-19 situation deteriorates with massive layoffs. The economic conditions could have a significant impact on H1B workers, the petition says.
"By law, H-1B workers have 60 days of unemployment grace period to legally reside in the United States during any approved period of validity. They must find new jobs within 60 days or they will have to leave the country." Petition said.
"Most H-1B employees are from India and cannot travel home with children who are US citizens because many nations have announced an entry ban, including India. H-1B employees care for the entire economy and mainly provide support the IT industry with high tax contributions, "says the petition.
A total of 782,365 COVID-19 cases were reported in more than 175 countries and areas, with 37,582 deaths reported to date. America has the highest number of cases with a total of 161,807 infections reported, according to Johns Hopkins University.