Malay News: Boston USA – After her company laid her off last month, Tang Chen couldn’t sleep. For days, her heart kept racing. There was one question at the front of her mind: would she be able to stay in the United States?
Tang comes from eastern China’s Zhejiang province but has worked in the US since 2014. Her H1-B work visa is due to expire later this year, so the travel firm where Tang worked as a software developer in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, had begun the arduous process of applying for a green card, which would allow her to live and work in the US permanently.
The 33-year-old was so confident about building a life in America, she even bought an apartment in the US.
But when Tang was made redundant on March 13, she didn’t just lose her source of income — she lost her visa status. Now her former employer has decided not to proceed with her green card application, her path to permanent residency has been lost, too.
A sign showing the closure of a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office in Washington. Immigrants in the US have faced uncertainty over their work visas due to the coronavirus crisis.
When H1-B visa holders like Tang lose their jobs they have 60 days to file for a change of status — such as becoming a tourist or student — or find a new employer willing to sponsor their work visa.