TOI has time and again covered the plight of laid-off H-1B Indian workers, who were struggling to find another job within the 60-day grace period. Many were forced to obtain tourist visas or return home. The survey was conducted during February and received 443 responses from HR professionals engaged in immigration functions at their companies. It cuts across a wide variety of industries and company sizes.
Envoy’s recently released ‘2023 Immigration Trends’ report shows that 78% of the surveyed companies instituted a hiring freeze in 2022, while nearly 51% laid off foreign workers. However, many companies benefited from recruiting overseas talent affected by the earlier layoffs.
Despite the harsh economic realities, the survey shows that overseas talent is more in demand now than it was in early 2022. This was when the Department of Labor saw an all-time high of H-1B sponsorship. It added that at least 71% of companies report hiring more foreign nationals in the first quarter of 2023 than in the same period last year.
According to the envoy, this momentum should continue as employers are expected to submit slightly more H-1B registrations than in 2022, which saw a record 4,83,000 entries. The online registration period for the H-1B specialty occupation visa was opened on March 1. As usual, after the registration period ends, there will be a lottery to select candidates because the number of registrations far exceeds the annual H-1B cap quota. 85,000 visa. Indians have traditionally been the main beneficiaries, receiving more than 60% of the new H-1B cap allocations.
According to the survey, while 84% of respondents approved of the Biden administration’s handling of employment-based immigration, the limited number of H-1B cap visas available annually was seen as the primary obstacle.
As in previous years, the survey reports that despite high demand for sponsoring foreign talent in the US, immigration barriers are leading employers to relocate foreign national employees overseas and outsource jobs. Canada benefited, with 62% of respondents saying that employees had been relocated to this neighboring country. It was followed by Mexico and the UK (with 48% positive responses).
In addition to establishing one or more entities outside the US, US companies are also exploring manufacturing a global employment company and moving employees to other countries using ’employer of record’ or ‘professional employer organizationor other contractual method to continue working indirectly with them.