According to fired.fyi, more than 23,000 tech workers have been laid off so far this month. By comparison, the site recorded 12,463 layoffs in October.
Facebook’s parent company Meta this week announced the first major job cuts in its history, eliminating 11,000 jobs. Like Twitter, Stripe, Brex, Lyft, Netflix and other Bay Area tech companies, many of the affected workers are immigrants on employee visas.
An unexpected layoff brings an element of chaos into one’s life, but when an H-1B employee loses their job, a very loud bell starts clicking: Unless they can get a new position or change their immigration status within 60 days, they must to leave the country. And as tech companies of all sizes put in place a workforce freeze and plan more cutbacks, their ability to live and work in the US is suddenly at stake.
Earlier today, I hosted a Q&A with immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn for H-1B employees who have been (or think they have been) laid off.
“You get a new job, you leave, or you think of another way to stay legally in the United States, but you have to take action within those 60 days.” Look for new opportunities now, she advised, because it will take new employers time to file paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
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“The best-case scenario would be that this new company submits your new employer change request and USCIS receives the paperwork on or before the 59th day since your last work day,” Alcorn said.
“It takes at least three weeks to get everything ready,” meaning candidates and employers must act quickly as the days count down. “You’ll probably need a signed offer around day 33,” she said.
Much of the information Alcorn provided was as relevant to hiring managers as it was to laid-off workers: many factors can complicate an already difficult process. For example, what happens to H-1B workers who are fired while out of the country? Can getting married really solve an immigration problem? (Certainly not!)
Because so many people have been laid off in a season when it has traditionally been difficult to find a new job, I asked Alcorn if she thought the layoffs would lead to an exodus of tech talent from Silicon Valley.
“The American Dream is still very important to immigrants,” she said. “A lot of people will fight to find a way to stay here, even if it’s not necessarily in the Bay Area with the high cost of living. They still want what America represents and they are going to re-evaluate their relationship with Big Tech and the nature of the work.”
3 tips for managing a remote technical team
I once ran an office where the CEO and I were the only two people who weren’t on the technical team. We occupied a pod in a co-working space, so we all sat around one big table.
Outside of our group lunches, the developers rarely spoke to each other, as most of the communication was through Slack, Jira, and GitHub. Today, that team works remotely.
In a post for TC+, entrepreneur and angel investor Kuan Wei (Greg) Soh shared his top suggestions for managing distributed engineering teams, including mandatory stand-ups and at least three hours a day when everyone is available to chat.
“We expect Slack messages to be answered within an hour, everyone to be reachable when we call them, and we’ll work responsibly with our assigned partners,” he says.
Use IRS Code Section 1202 to Sell Your Million Dollar Startup Tax Free
Founding teams usually choose a corporate structure such as an LLC or S-Corp, but those hoping to leave for $10 million for more should consider starting as a Qualified Small Business (QSB) C-Corporation, advises tax attorney Vincent Aiello.
Under IRS code section 1202, founders who hold QSB stock for five years or more are exempt from paying capital gains tax after a sale.
“It represents a significant tax benefit for entrepreneurs and small business investors,” says Aiello.
“However, the effect of the exclusion ultimately depends on when the shares were acquired, the trade or company being operated, and several other factors.”
Income-Based Financing: A New Startup Fundraising Playbook
Income-based financing can make early-stage startups less dependent on investors so they can maintain more equity.
With terms typically ranging from 12-24 months, many teams use these funds for short-term projects, such as sales and marketing campaigns.
“Because the returns from these activities can exceed the cost of revenue-based financing, startups should use revenue-based financing to fund initiatives that will soon pay off,” advises Miguel Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Capchase.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Syneroid’s $500K seed deck
Stolen vehicle recovery systems have been available for decades, but a lost pet has higher emotional stakes.
According to Syneroid, a startup that makes smart tags, 10 million pets are lost in the United States every year, but “less than 30% are returned home.”
After raising a starting round of $500,000 at a valuation of $3.9 million, the company founders shared their 12-slide pitch deck with toptecheasy.com for a review. “No information has been omitted or omitted,” writes Haje Jan Kamps.
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