#Coronavirus: Indian H1B Visa Holders Request US Govt To Extend Grace Period To 180 Days; 47 Million Jobs Vanish

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected the tech sector, which we have been fervently covering since the past few months but also has shown massive blow to not just the Indian economy but also the world economy.

This has given rise to massive layoffs resulting in unemployment. The Federal Reserve is removing reserve requirements to allow banks to use cash backstops to meet unexpected funding needs.

Amidst the poor world economy, the US economy is no better. Economic experts fear massive layoffs in various sectors of the American economy due to the current economic distress that is only going to deteriorate in coming weeks and months.

H1B Visa Holders Demand an Increase in Grace Period

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in special occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

Fearing massive layoffs in America due to the degrading economy, the H-1B visa holders have demanded the Trump administration to extend their permissible post-job loss limit to stay in the US from the existing 60 to 180 days.

As per the current federal rules, H-1B workers have a 60-day grace period of unemployment time during each authorised validity period to stay in the USA legally. They must find new work within 60 days; otherwise, they have to leave the country

Some Cos Inform H-1B Employees that they’ll be Fired

A record 3.3 million Americans have filed initial jobless claims for the week ending March 21. Even as the peak of coronavirus in the US is some two weeks away, millions of people in the US have already lost their jobs.

According to an estimate, some 47 million people could be rendered unemployed. Initial reports suggest that quite a number of H-1B employees are being laid off. In some cases, companies have already informed their H-1B employees that they are on top of the list of being fired.

So now, the H-1B visa holders have started a petition campaign on the White House website to extend the timeline for their stay in the US to 180 days after they are being laid off.

The petition has so far attracted more than 20,000 signatures. White House will respond once at least 100,000 petitions are signed in.

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