Google just announced the layoff of 12,000 employees across the globe and the company now has one more bad news for IT engineers. The company has sent out an email to its foreign employees (based in the US) informing them about its decision to put a temporary stop to Program Electronic Review Management (PERM). In simpler terms, Google is pausing new filings for PERM, which is required for obtaining an employer-sponsored immigrant visa (green card).
A Google employee reportedly shared the email sent by Google on Team Blind, which is an anonymous social media website for certified IT workers. In the email, the software giant informed people about its decision to pause new green card applications and mentioned that this is pretty difficult for them, but employees should be aware of this move.
"Recognising how this news may impact some of you and your families, I wanted to update you as quickly as possible on the difficult decision we've had to make to pause new PERM applications. This does not impact other visa applications or programs," an email from a company executive read.
In case you are unaware, a green card is different from H1B Visa as the latter only allows you to live in the US on a temporary basis and work for a company. The PERM program lets people stay in the country for at least 10 years and then they are required to renew it. The employer first needs to obtain a "Labour Certification (LC) from the Department of Labor (DOL) to apply an application for foreign workers to help them gain a permanent stay in the country. Once this PERM application gets approved by DOL, the employer is required to file an immigrant workers petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within six months. Once everything is approved, the IT professional gets a green card.
In this PERM process, the employer is required to show that the company is not getting a qualified worker in the US for a particular role, and it wants to hire a foreign national. There are a lot of other things that are taken into consideration for this.
But, why is Google pausing new green card applications? Well, the company hasn't revealed the reason, but it is pretty likely that it has just announced the layoff of thousands of employees, and so it might be difficult for Google to fight with USCIS to accept foreign IT professionals as permanent residents.
The search giant has confirmed that the latest decision won't affect current or upcoming applications for other visa types. The company will support those PERM applications that have already been applied, according to a report by Observer.
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