Day1CPT.Org News Blog

Overcoming H1B Layoffs for International Professionals


Table of Content

1. Current State of H1B Visa Layoffs

2. Impact of Layoffs on H1B Holders

  • What is the H1B Visa?
  • How is the last day of employment calculated for H1B holders?
  • The 60-Day Unemployment Period
  • What needs to be completed within the 60-day grace period?

3. Strategies and Recommendations for H1B Visa Holders Facing Layoffs



The widespread layoffs that began in the middle of 2022 were largely a consequence of companies rapidly expanding post-pandemic, where the increase in business activities failed to keep pace with recruitment speeds, ultimately resulting in an excess of idle personnel and a recession. In November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, an epoch-making product that stunned the world and reshaped the technology industry's criteria and skills for selecting talents. In the following 2023 to 2024 till now, the layoffs were a result of the AI wave, with large tech companies readjusting their financial strategies.


Tech layoffs since Covid 19 (Source:

Current State of H1B Visa Layoffs

According to the website, between 2023 and February 2024, more than 300,000 individuals across 1,360 companies were laid off. Notably, the Economic Policy Institute reported that from 2022 to 2023, 13 leading H1B employers announced about 85,000 layoffs in the U.S., a figure nearly equal to the annual H1B application cap. Though the U.S. job market is still strong overall, tech companies have cut over 42,000 jobs at the beginning of 2024. 


Tech layoffs in 2022 - 2024 (Source:

WSJ reported on Feb 26th that Expedia announced a 9% workforce reduction, approximately 1,500 people, which will cost between $80 million and $100 million. This move comes as Expedia's earnings disappoint and its CEO prepares to exit. In a similar trend, Cisco is reducing its staff by 5%, while Instacart will let go of 250 employees, constituting 7% of its workforce. Snap and Duolingo are both slashing their staff numbers by 10%, with Zoom making a modest cut of 2%. Blackstone is parting with 600 employees (3%), Discord with 17%, and eBay is eliminating 1,000 jobs, marking a 9% reduction. PayPal anticipates a 9% reduction in its workforce for the year, and Salesforce is making a minimal cut of around 1%, shedding 700 jobs. A survey by Resume Builder indicates that massive layoffs are expected in 2024, potentially affecting nearly half of all companies in the U.S. Despite the ongoing trend of job cuts into 2024, the magnitude of layoffs has notably diminished from previous levels.

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Anticipation of  layoffs in 2024 (Source: Resume Builder)

Impact of Layoffs on H1B Holders

What is the H1B Visa?

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant work visa designated for foreign workers with at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent experience) to engage in professional occupations within the United States. These specialty occupations include, but are not limited to, engineers, teachers, lawyers, accountants, architects, artists, scientists, and certain business specialties.

There are two types of H1B visas: (1) cap-subject H1B visas and (2) cap-exempt H1B visas. The common one is the cap-subject H1B visa. All the applicants will need to enroll for the H lottery occurs in the spring (typically at the end of March). Individuals who win the lottery can start work on October 1 of the same year. The H1B visa application can be for full-time or part-time employment in the U.S. For cap-exempt H1B visas, some US employers are allowed to hire foreign workers without adhering to the H1B cap limitations. Most of the employers who are eligible to provide cap-exempt H1B visas are universities, associated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research institutions, and government research bodies. These organizations can apply for an H-1B visa through the USCIS at any point in the year, without worrying about annual fiscal limits.

The H1B visa is highly sought after by professionals wishing to work in the U.S., because it gives professionals the chance to legally stay in the U.S. and allows them to apply for a green card.

How is the last day of employment calculated for H1B holders?

As long as an H1B status holder continues to work and receive regular payroll, their H1B status remains valid. Generally, the day the payroll stops is considered the employee's last day of employment, marking the start of the grace period. Each case can vary significantly, so it's recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer or our consultants for a free assessment.

The 60-Day Unemployment Period

According to U.S. immigration law, to ensure labor market fluidity, H-class visa holders, including H1B, are allowed to transfer their H1B status to another employer before the visa expiration, provided the work is of a similar nature. In the event of a layoff, there is a 60-day grace period to secure a new employer willing to facilitate the H1B status transfer. If more time is needed, one can seek legal assistance to change to another non-immigrant status within the U.S. Otherwise, departure from the U.S. is required before the 60-day period ends. The first step for an H1B status holder is to consult with a lawyer to determine the start date of their last day of work. If laid off while outside the U.S., the grace period is considered automatically forfeited.

What needs to be completed within the 60-day grace period?

Statistics show that 15% of those laid off in Bay Area startups are immigrants, with 90% being H1B holders. Employees facing an H1B layoff must either find new employment or another legal way to stay in the U.S. within this 60-day period.

Strategies and Recommendations for H1B Visa Holders Facing Layoffs

  • Day 1 CPT Schools: A popular visa type choice, allowing H1B workers to change to F1 student status for study, and then switch back to H1B status for work upon finding new employment.
  • B1/B2 Visa: H1B workers may change their status to B1/B2 for travel within the U.S. before returning home.
  • H1B Part-time Job: Many are unaware that H1B allows for part-time work, as long as you find the right company and work over 10 hours a week to maintain status.

Why Da1 CPT Schools?

Day 1 CPT Universities provide the best career development solution for international students. Their Day 1 CPT programs combine classroom study with real-life internships, giving international students a head start in the job market while earning income.

Day 1 CPT Universities differentiate themselves from traditional universities by designing their programs to be suitable for issuing work authorizations under the guidelines of USCIS. This allows you to participate in paid jobs without needing an H1B work visa. Some schools even provide monthly tuition payment opportunities to lighten your burden for your study.

Moreover, if you are facing H1B layoff, transferring yourself back to F1 is the easiest and least time-consuming way for you to secure your status in the U.S. H1B workers can change to F1 student status for study, and then switch back to H1B status for work upon finding new employment.

Book a free consultation of transferring your H1B to F1



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